This December will mark two years since I lost, hell, over 90 percent of my belongings in a house fire (check out “My House Burned Up. Three Days Before Christmas. What It Taught Me.”). Only people who have gone through something similar get how long it takes to…replenish. That’s why I was so excited about setting some money aside this year so that I could get the kind of fall wardrobe that I’ve been wanting for a hot minute now. Since autumn is my favorite time of year, I like to prepare for it more than any other season.
My hair is not exempt. Boy, the more I am intentional about achieving some real hair length, the more research I like to do when it comes to giving my tresses exactly what they need — this includes what’s required from season to season.
That’s what this article is all about. With fall officially being a week away, I wanted to give you some time to get your hair and your coins ready to provide it just what it needs so that it can adjust nicely to cooler (and oftentimes wetter) weather.
1. Comb More than Brush
Although this one might sound a bit odd, hear me out. So long as you use the right kind of brush (a detangling one and/or a boar bristle brush), there are benefits that come with brushing your hair. Brushing helps stimulate your scalp and distribute natural oils to coat your hair strands, and brushing can get rid of natural hair strands that shed on a daily basis. However, the reason you might want to comb (or pick) more than brush during the fall season is because the semi-drastic shifts in temperature tend to create a jet stream that brings more wind and rain.
And when it’s damper outside, that can make your hair frizzier — and what can add to the frizz is brushing your locks because it separates each strand, which makes it easier for the cuticles on them to stand up and out (when hair isn’t frizzing up, the cuticles are smooth). Since the process of combing helps to keep your strands more “clumped together,” which can reduce frizz, it’s a hairstyling hack to keep in mind…if frizz is something that you want to avoid, that is.
2. Avoid Hair Drying Products
Speaking of controlling frizz, here’s another tip to keep in mind. Did you know that the main reason why frizz happens in the first place is because hair lacks moisture? Basically, the tiny “scales” that cover each strand, when there is no frizz, they lie down smoothly. Oh, but when there’s some frizzing going on, they stand all over the place. Since our hair is usually naturally drier anyway (because the sebum from our scalp has a harder time coating our strands from root to tip due to our curly hair texture), our hair frizzes up more than most. That’s why we have to be hypervigilant about keeping moisture in it.
And why is this relevant during the fall season? Well, if there’s more rain, this means that water evaporates into the air, and when the hydrogen bonds from the water connect with the protein in your hair, that can cause frizz, especially if/when your hair is already dry. That’s why it’s important to avoid hair products that have drying agents in them — ones like alcohol, sulfates, polyethylene glycol, ammonia (which is what’s in a lot of hair dyes), and dimethicone (a type of silicone) — for starters.
3. Apply a Leave-In Conditioner
If you’re looking for a proactive way to keep moisture in your hair, you can never go wrong with a water-based leave-in conditioner. What I like about them is they’re a quick way to add some moisture and softening agents to my hair in between wash days (which is my deep conditioning day). The way that I apply it is I add a couple of dabs to my hair at night before I put my hair in 2-6 plaits (in order to keep my hair stretched without heat).
By morning, the leave-in is dry, so I can style my hair without worrying about whether the dampness from the leave-in will cause my hair to look curlier than I might want it to be. As far as some of the best leave-ins (for curly hair) that are currently on the market, you can check out a few recommendations here, here, and here.
4. Use Hair Masks and Hot Oil Treatments
To tell you the truth, hair masks are something that should be used year-round. That’s because they add hydration, smooth hair cuticles, help to prevent split ends, strengthen hair follicles, keep your scalp healthy, and make your hair soft to the touch. As far as hot oil treatments are concerned, they’re great at repairing hair damage, reducing frizz, adding shine to color-treated hair, soothing scalp irritation (including the kind that is the result of dandruff,) and also keeping split ends from getting out of hand.
When it comes to how often you should treat your hair to a mask or an oil treatment, my two cents would be to alternate wash days — meaning, one wash day, go with a hair mask, and on the next, use a hot oil treatment. You can get some solid tips for how to DIY a hair mask by watching the videos here and here and how to do your own hot oil treatment by watching the video here and here.
5. Try Color-Depositing Shampoos and Conditioners
If you’re someone who likes to play with hair color, I definitely think that the fall is better than the summer to do it; that’s because the summer season brings a lot of heat that can dry out your hair, which can result in serious damage to dyed strands. Since the fall season is cooler, current trending colors like chestnut brown, wine, and bold highlights can have your hair looking amazing without compromising its health (quite as much).
If you want to keep your color lasting longer so that you don’t have to retouch it (and dry your hair out anyway) quite so often, invest in some color-depositing shampoos and conditioners. They’re basically semi-permanent hair products that will serve as a “top coat of color” for your hair for 10-15 wash days.
I’ve tried them before and, especially the conditioners, have done wonders as far as adding depth and shine to my hair without compromising its health. Cosmo has some shampoo recommendations here. Byrdie has some conditioner recommendations here.
6. Put Shampoo in Your Hair Dye
I wish I could remember where I learned this hack from, but just trust me when I say that it’s a TOTAL game-changer. It can’t be said enough that one of the biggest misconceptions that a lot of us have when it comes to our hair is that Black hair doesn’t grow long. The hell you say. Although genetics do somewhat play a role (for sure), the reality is a lot of us don’t see inches because our hair breaks off as fast as it grows — and that’s because we don’t take care of our ends as well as we should.
Case in point, since our ends are the oldest parts of our hair, if you plan on coloring your hair (especially if you’re about to retouch your color), your ends need to be color-treated the least — one, because they are already fragile and two, because they already have some color on them (if you’re coloring for the first time).
That said, one way to give your ends a ”once over” of color (for added depth) while damaging them as little as possible is to put some shampoo in your hair dye once you’ve already colored the rest of your hair. As you’re preparing to rinse the dye out, use that shampoo to penetrate your ends for about five minutes before thoroughly washing your hair without shampoo that has no dye in it (make sure that it’s sulfate-free).
Your ends will get a coat of color, and you won’t have to worry about stripping them of the natural oils that they need to keep from breaking off. Brilliant.
7. Don’t Forget the Thermal Heat Protectant
Hands down, I think the best time of year to get some longevity out of a blowout is the fall season. That’s because, since it’s cooler outside, that means less sweating, which means your strands are able to stay stretched out for longer periods of time. Now, this doesn’t mean that you should just go ham with your blow dryer and flat iron on a daily basis — but you should be able to pull off a few blowouts before Christmas without any hair damage…so long as you deep condition your hair and apply a thermal heat protectant before applying any heat.
Although some come in sprays and others in creams, my recommendation is “Option B” because it tends to coat our hair better. You can check out a few options to go with here. And as far as how to create the perfect blowout on natural hair, some YouTubers can walk you through it step-by-step. Check out this one (here), this one (here), this one (here), this one (here) and this one (here).
8. Get Some Hair Serum
Even though I did say earlier that a type of silicone can dry out your hair, that doesn’t make every silicone on the planet the devil. The reality is that serums, which are made from silicones, can be beneficial when it comes to extending the dye in your hair, preventing heat damage, increasing hair elasticity, detangling your hair, and definitely adding some major sheen and shine to it. That’s why you can never go wrong with hair serum being the “final touch” to your blowouts.
InStyle has some of their top serum picks here. Some keys to making hair serum work best for you are to take the “less is more” approach, to warm it up a bit beforehand (to keep it from going on so thick), and to not go more than ten days without washing your hair if you’ve applied the serum more than a couple of times; otherwise, you run the risk of dryness and breakage, if you’re not careful.
9. Oil Your Ends
Wool. Flannel. Corduroy. Hemp. Microfleece. Something that all of these fabrics have in common is they help to keep us warm. Problem is, that they can be really drying (and snag-inducing) when it comes to the ends of your hair. That’s why it’s a really good idea to be intentional about oiling the ends of your hair on the days when you know that they are going to be out.
Grapeseed, avocado, jojoba, sweet almond, and rosehip oil are all potent enough to keep your hair moisturized while being light enough to not weigh your hair strands down. Or you can use a hair oil blend. Although I personally don’t have locs, there is an Etsy store called The Loc Shop NYC that carries some oil combos that I’m a huge fan of — they penetrate my hair for days on end, and the scents are amazing. You can check ‘em out here.
By the way, some gentler fabrics that can also warm you up as they are kinder to your locks include cashmere, cotton, polyester, and, believe it or not, silk.
10. Invest in More Hats
Hats are my jam — everyone who knows me knows it. They’re great for bad hair days. They are awesome fashion accessories. And they can keep your head warm on the coolest of days in the coldest way possible (see what I did there?). That’s why you couldn’t tell me a damn thing when my new, large, gray Fedora came in the mail last week. After doing some internet skimming, it looks like bucket hats, newsboy hats, baseball caps, beanies, and berets are gonna be all the rage this fall season. Hmph. Betta get you some. Hats can shave off 15-20 minutes of your morning-get-ready routine. EASILY.
BONUS: Get a New Umbrella
Many days have started out a good hair day and then turned into an epic fail because either someone forgot their umbrella or the one they have is so old and tattered that it didn’t do them much good anyway. For this very reason, not too long ago, I copped myself one of those clear bubble umbrellas, and my hair couldn’t be more thrilled! As a bonus, not only does it keep my hair perfectly dry, but it also covers enough of my body that I can enjoy outdoor events in drizzling weather without getting the top half of my clothes wet, too. It’s the truest must-have fall accessory, no doubt about it.
There you have it: ten things that can get — and keep — your hair right this coming fall.
Don’t say a sistah wasn’t looking out. #wink
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
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.
An author by the name of Alexandra Katehakis once said this about orgasms: “Great spiritual teachers throughout the ages have stated that orgasm is the closest some people come to a spiritual experience because of the momentary loss of self. Why is this true? Because with spiritual sex, you move beyond orgasm into a connection with yourself, your partner, and the divine — recognizing them all as one.”
If it’s counterintuitive to what you’ve ever thought about orgasms, believe it or not, there are even pastors who have said that climaxing is the closest comprehension of heaven on this side of it: it is an extreme kind of bliss that is indescribable and is best experienced between two people who share a sacrificial kind of love for one another.
Although this might seem like a heavy way to intro this particular topic, because the O Method is an orgasm-achieving technique that centers around housing energy, embracing the mental practice of manifestation, and the attempt to achieve the best climaxes ever — it all works together pretty well if you ask me. If you want to take your orgasms to the next level, it’s important that you get out of yourself (to a certain extent), that you see the spiritual role that manifestation plays, and that you are open to trying new things. No doubt about it.
So, let’s learn more about what the O Method is all about and how it very well could be just what you’ve been looking for…even if you didn’t know it.
What Is the “O Method” All About?Giphy
Question: When’s the last time you’ve had an orgasm? Not just any orgasm — I mean a really mind-blowing one (I’ll give you a second to think about it). Now, what if you could manifest that experience to the point where it wasn’t a rare occurrence but something that happened almost every time that you and your partner had sex with each other? How absolutely awesome would that be?
That is pretty much what the O Method is all about — helping you achieve the kind of orgasms (and sexual pleasure, in general) that you desire through the practice of manifestation. And since your biggest sex organ is your brain, it would make perfect sense that even with all of the tips and techniques that you might learn to do as far as your body is concerned, honing in on what you think about is super imperative to sexual fulfillment, too. And that’s just where manifestation comes in.
What If You’ve Never “Manifested” Anything Before?Giphy
Before we get into a quick lesson on manifestation, I think it’s important to mention two things. One, for the cynics, there is a lot of truth in the fact that it’s got some solid spiritual basis to it because even the Good Book says that as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7). At the same time, that same Good Book tells us that faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26). So, while it is always a good idea to focus on good, positive, and productive thoughts, just thinking about them isn’t enough — at some point, you’ve also gotta get out here and DO something (bookmark that).
Okay, with that mini-sermon out of the way, whether it’s in the bedroom or not, manifestation is basically about focusing on something tangible that you desire, harnessing your energy in such a way that your words and actions are directed towards that longing until what you want, well, manifests. For the record, aside from this having a spiritual backing to it, in many ways, science cosigns on manifesting, too. There is actually a scientific process known as neuroplasticity that consists of reframing your mind so that your actions ultimately end up aligning with your goals — and that is another way to look at manifestation.
So, what if you’re someone who has never set out to do a manifestation practice before? No worries. Something that’s awesome about it is there are several different approaches that you can take.
Some people manifest what they want in their lives via:
- Visualization/Creating vision boards
- Writing down their desires before going to bed (so that they can “download” them into their dream state)
- Creating mantras and affirmations
- Applying the 369 Manifestation Method (you can learn more about that here)
- Learning more about what you want to manifest (which brings forth clarity)
This is important to keep in mind because, when it comes to manifesting the types of orgasms that you want to have, as you can see, you can try different manifestation methods until you find one (or ones) that you are truly comfortable with. One that can ease you into the entire process rather smoothly is something known as sex journaling.
How Sex Journaling Can Actually Help You to Have an OrgasmGiphy
As a writer, I’m a big fan of journaling. Mostly because it’s a way to get out some of your deepest thoughts and feelings so that you’re able to really process what is happening inside of you in a private setting. And when it comes to sex journaling, specifically, it’s all about centering yourself on the things sexually that you want to “unpack,” get clarity on or come to some revelations about. For instance, if there’s only been one partner from your past who’s been able to help you achieve the type of orgasms that you wish to manifest, journaling about what makes him different from the other guys can provide you with some solid ah-ha moments.
Or if you need help getting as specific as possible about the sexual experiences that you’re after, journaling can help to make that happen for you — because one thing that manifesting reminds us all to do is be as specific as possible.
Yeah, simply saying, “I want to have better sex” isn’t detailed enough when you want to get your energy to match with your desires — instead, describe how all of your senses should feel in the experience, along with why, that can get you so much closer to achieving your goal. Once those things are documented, you can segue into creating mantras and/or meditation that are based on them. Yeah, sex journaling really is an underrated superpower on a lot of levels (check out “The Art Of Sex Journaling (And Why You Should Do It)”).
5 Tips for Making the O Method Work for YouGiphy
Now that you know more about what the O Method is and how manifestation plays a direct role in its process, let’s talk about five ways to make the O Method truly effective in your own (sex) life.
1. Focus, FULLY, on your feminine energy. What do rose quartz, amethyst, moonstone (which is a Gemini birthstone as well; yes, I’m a Gemini), selenite, and rhodonite all have in common? They’re crystals that help you to go deeper into your divine feminine energy. Traits that are associated with this include compassion, creativity, kindness, gentleness, and sensuality (feminine energy is also accepting and forgiving). If you were to study energy from a biological standpoint, it’s about producing change, responding to stimuli, and having the ability to do what needs to be done (work). So, when it comes to manifesting the kind of orgasms or sexual experiences that you want, using things like your creativity and gentleness in your thoughts and actions can play a role in bringing balance to your partner’s masculinity, which can create a profound sense of pleasure — after all, opposites do attract.
2. Don’t hold back on what it is that you desire. Whenever I interview sex therapists, something that they all say is, a huge mistake that people make as far as sexual satisfaction is concerned is, they have walls up — not just with their partners but even within themselves. Sometimes, there is intimidation, fear, or even shame around what they really want to happen during sex to the point where they aren’t able to channel their energy fully in those directions in order to manifest what they want. For the O Method to work, you can’t let those types of negative emotions hinder you; the more you are able to articulate what you want and how you want it, the better chance you have of making it happen. So yes, get graphic. As graphic as possible.
3. Make manifestation a daily practice. Repetition is important when it comes to manifestation. That’s because the more you declare what you desire (a mantra), get still and think on it (meditation), or look at the “art” that you’ve created surrounding it (visualization), the quicker it becomes a part of you. So yes, make manifestation a daily practice. For instance, if one of your mantras is, “I am going to have intensely passionate orgasms, one right after the other,” don’t just state that 15 minutes before sex is going to happen. Wake up and declare it. Then say it on your lunch break. And again before turning in. The more your thoughts are “streamlined” in this way, the easier it will be for your body to follow suit.
4. Share this practice with your partner. If you were to do even more research on the O Method, one thing that most of the articles will mention is it’s a practice that you can do alone or with your partner. Indeed. However, I just want to make sure that you get into your psyche that great sex is, in part, about good communication. And so, the more comfortable you are sharing with your partner what you are doing as far as the O Method is concerned and what you ultimately want to happen as a result of the practice, the easier it will be for him to “match your energy” — both in and out of the bedroom. And when your partner is on the same page as you? That definitely increases the chances of attaining your sexual desires — exponentially so.
5. Stay in the moment. While I was reading one article on manifestation, I really appreciated something that the author said: manifestation isn’t some supernatural power. In other words, while it can be beneficial, it’s not like you can just think of something, and it instantly appears out of nowhere. Manifesting is a discipline, and it must be accompanied by action, consistency, and patience — this means that you must also practice mindfulness. Meaning, now that you know better what you’re looking to achieve as far as sex is concerned, every time that it transpires, maintain a level of positive energy, remember what your end goal is, and then determine in your mind to enjoy the moments as they come. Remember, manifestation isn’t to add stress…it’s to cultivate clarity.
At the end of the day, the O Method is simply a way of reminding you that your mind plays a huge role in your sexual pleasure, and when you channel it and your energy exactly where you want them both to go, you’ll be amazed what your body is capable of doing…and accomplishing.
So, what kind of orgasm are you wanting to achieve? You’ve got a tool to get you there. USE IT.
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