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
Featured Image by CoffeeAndMilk/Getty Images
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 email@example.com. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
How We Met is a series where xoNecole talks love and relationships with real-life couples. We learn how they met, how like turned into love, and how they make their love work.
I’m willing to bet that this is not the first time you’ve seen this couple. Dalen Spratt is a television producer, owner of a tailored men's suit line, and creator of Ghost Brothers: Haunted Houseguests, which is currently streaming on Destination America. Stacey Spratt is also a serial entrepreneur, focusing mostly on events and the nonprofit world, and she is the owner of two award-winning craft beer bars called Harlem Hops. But their accolades are not what united them.
The couple met years ago at their alma mater, Clark Atlanta University, when they were still working to create the life they have now, and if you had told them then that they’d eventually tie the knot, the pair probably would’ve laughed in your face.
Today, they’re new parents, flourishing in their careers, and each others’ “teammates.” When desiring love, Dalen recommends not looking to other couples for advice. And Stacey advises staying true to what you want. “Don’t put age or limitations on love and children. If God could do it for me, why can’t he do it for you?”
Here's How We Met.
How did you meet?
Dalen: We met in 2005 when she was advising the Greek sororities and fraternities in college. She was old as hell in college, and I was a young buck (laughs). Everybody had a crush on her, but I didn’t think much of it. Then, in 2007, we were in the same grad school class, but she still wasn’t trying to see me then either. I had to catch her five years ago; I was very patient.
Stacey: Yeah, everybody in our grad school class called him Young, Fresh to Death because he was always dressed in B-school (what CAU affectionately refers to as business major classes), and we’d just wear sweatpants (laughs).
So, I know Dalen was always attracted to you. But what about you? Did your attraction to him develop over time?
Stacey: So 2006-2008 – all the years went by. I don’t think we were really thinking about each other at all back then. Years later, I had an event in Dallas, and I booked him to be a speaker. Then, a few years ago, Dalen posted a photo of him on Instagram, and I slid in his DMs. I remembered him being so young and handsome, and I’m like, I should hook him up with my younger cousin. His response was: "If you’re not hooking me up with you, no thank you." But I still thought he was too young at the time, and he started pulling receipts. Taraji P. Henson was dating someone young at the time, Gabrielle Union–
Dalen: First of all, I didn’t do that. You did that.
Stacey: Okay, I did. I thought he was a cutie pie, but that age thing was on my mind!
"Dalen posted a photo of him on Instagram, and I slid in his DMs. I remembered him being so young and handsome, and I’m like, I should hook him up with my younger cousin. His response was: 'If you’re not hooking me up with you, no thank you.'"
Talk to me about the first date. How did he change your mind?
Stacey: Our first date was at Tin Lizzy's in Atlanta. During that time, he was living in Dallas, so it was long-distance. But he came into town, and we just had a good time. We talked a lot, which we still do. It wasn’t anything fantastic.
Dalen: Don’t downplay our first date.
Then, walk me through your courtship. How did you get to the next level? What was that conversation like?
Stacey: I think he knew at age 43 or 44 I wasn’t playing around. But also, I think it just naturally progressed.
Dalen: Yeah, it just happened naturally. And I’m going to be honest, I don’t think initially either one of us thought it would be as serious as it was. She thought I was too young and I wasn’t ready for marriage, kids, and all that. I think we both thought we were just hanging out. But after spending so much time together, a lot of stuff started happening. Like, she had to have surgery early on. It wasn’t just time together; it was intimate time. Next thing we know, we just never left each other. That’s why we still don’t have an anniversary date because we never really asked.
"It wasn't just time together; it was intimate time. Next thing we know, we just never left each other. That's why we still don't have an anniversary date because we never really asked."
What made you want to commit to each other?
Dalen: The moment I knew Stacey was for me was from a phone call. I don’t really like talking on the phone, and I can be really blunt sometimes. But we were talking, and I said, ‘I don’t really feel like talking anymore.’ And she was just like, okay, and hung up. I wasn’t trying to be rude, and she understood that. It sounds bad, but that’s how I knew she just got me. I felt like she could get my random awkward moments, and she does to this day.
Stacey: For me, I liked him as a person. Even when times get rough and tough, I could still like him as a human. He is my best friend. We have time. We laugh until we cry, and it’s just always like that. Even when we get pissed at each other, something happens, and we fix it. Also, how he treats his mother. That’s a momma’s boy, but I’m a daddy’s girl – so I get it. I know how I want to be treated, and I see how he is with her and that’s beautiful.
What are some important lessons you’ve learned about yourself through loving your partner in this relationship?
Dalen: I grew up an only child and she grew up with siblings. So, when you have someone who is used to doing things by themselves, there is definitely a learning curve when you get into a serious relationship. It’s funny now, but it was definitely a process.
Stacey: I agree – definitely the only child thing. There’s times I look at him like, did you ever live with anyone else? That comes from being momma's baby, too. I have to say, my “mother-in-love” spoiled him. But also with Axel (their daughter), that brings another level of patience.
Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images
What was the biggest challenge that you had to overcome together?
Dalen: We’ve gone through a lot within the years we’ve been together. We suffered two miscarriages – I’d say that’s the biggest.
Stacey: Having those miscarriages and trying to understand what’s next and what our options are was a lot. I had two myomectomies (fibroid surgeries), and he supported me through that time. Also, still, it was on my mind that he’s eight years younger than me. I was wondering if I can’t carry [a child] what that looks like for us. We had very real conversations pretty early in our relationship.
"Having those miscarriages and trying to understand what’s next and what our options are was a lot. I had two myomectomies (fibroid surgeries), and he supported me through that time. Also, still, it was on my mind that he’s eight years younger than me."
What do you fight the most about?
Dalen: Nagging. Stacey nags; she’s a complainer. She’s that momma that will look in a room and just hunt for something to complain about. Like, I’m worried for Axel when she's in high school.
Stacey: It’s because I like things to be in place. He leaves stuff all over the place. I can tell where he’s been in the house because something is left around. So he says I’m nagging – but it’s like, just get your stuff.
What are your love languages?
Dalen: Stacey is gifts all day.
Dalen: We’ve talked about this. xoNecole is about to cause problems in our home (laughs).
Stacey: Obviously I love you. *thinks again* It’s words of affirmation.
Dalen: That’s it.
What’s your favorite thing about each other?
Dalen: I’ve always respected her business-mindedness. That may sound superficial, but it’s not because I’ve never been with someone who thinks like me. It’s one of my most treasured things about her. I remember one day, I was just running through ideas with her, and each time Stacey had a suggestion on how I could make it better. It’s just very comforting. She takes whatever I’m doing and elevates it – including me.
Stacey: I love Dalen’s hustle and creativity. He’s been on multiple shows, and he continues to create, produce, and reinvent himself and the product he’s putting out. I love that we can create together and bounce things off each other. Even though we may be in different arenas, there’s nothing he can’t offer me great advice about. I love that drive.
Finally, how did you know it was love?
Dalen: Well – she said it – first. (laughs)
Stacey: And he looked at me and smiled! He didn’t say it back. We were on a trip, out of the country.
Dalen: We were arguing when she said it, and she just threw it out.
Stacey: But we continue to do that. We’ve spent holidays and everything outside of the country.
Feature image courtesy
Porsha Williams And Simon Guobadia’s Marriage Has Ended: Here’s A Look Into Their Relationship Timeline
Porsha Williams and Simon Guobadia have called it quits.
After a 15-month-long marriage commenced with two elaborate wedding ceremonies, PEOPLEexclusively reports that the former Real Housewives of Atlanta star has filed for divorce from the Nigerian businessman on Thursday.
With online rumors around Guobadia's citizenship status coinciding with the announcement of their separation, a source informed PEOPLE that the divorce is "unrelated to recent allegations involving Simon's past" and is an “ongoing matter.”
In November 2022, the ex-lovebirds tied the knot in Atlanta during a show-stopping, 350-guest Nigerian traditional native law, with a traditional American wedding to follow.
Ahead of their wedding, Williams told PEOPLEexclusively, “I am ridiculously excited. I am just so ready. I'm not even nervous. I know I'm marrying the love of my life, and it's going to solidify our relationship and our family bond. I'm calm and excited."
Although their relationship has come to a sudden conclusion, their whirlwind romance was one to watch; or in this case, look back on. Here’s a breakdown of the moments that made Williams and Guobadia’s relationship one to remember.
2020 - Porsha and Simon's First Encounter
Porsha Williams and Simon Guobadia first crossed paths in 2020 on the set of Season 13 of Real Housewives of Atlanta. Guobadia was then married to friend of the show, Falynn Pina.
May 2021 - Their Surprise Engagement
In May 2021, Porsha Williams surprised fans by announcing her engagement to Simon Guobadia shortly after he reportedly declared his divorce from Falynn Pina. Williams shared on Instagram that their relationship started a month earlier, and Guobadia had initiated divorce proceedings in January 2021, which had been resolved.
Williams took to Instagram to dispel rumors around the overlap in Guobadia’s prior relationship.
“Our relationship began a month ago—yes we are crazy in love,” she wrote in the caption. “I know it’s fast but we are living life each day to its fullest. I choose happiness every morning and every night. Tuning out all negative energy and only focused on positive wishes.”
November 2021 - Porsha Clears Up Rumors Around Their Relationship Timeline
On an episode of Watch What Happens Live, Andy Cohen looked to “nail down some dates” in connection to alleged overlaps with Porsha, Simon, and his ex-wife. She shared that she reached out to Guobadia to express her sympathy for his divorce, having experienced the weight of divorce herself.
“I actually told him, ‘I’m sorry for your divorce,’ and all of that because I know what that feels like,” Williams shared. “I know what it feels like to go through betrayal and hurt.”
She continued, "A little birdie had told me that [Falynn] was pregnant, so I knew what he was about to go through." Porsha noted that his ex-wife’s pregnancy announcement prompted her to offer support to Simon, which opened a door for their connection to deepen and eventually fall in love.
November 2022 - Williams and Guobadia Tie the Knot
The couple spared no expense for their not one, but two wedding ceremonies. On Nov. 26 and Nov. 27, the two celebrated their love in front of 350 wedding guests at the Four Seasons Hotel in Atlanta, GA. The first ceremony celebrated Guobadia's Edo culture, while the following day featured a star-studded American wedding. Williams told PEOPLE that the double-wedding was a "true fashion extravaganza," as a nod to her numerous outfit changes.
November 2023 - A Diamond-Studded Declaration
To celebrate their one-year anniversary, the couple exchanged extravagant dazzling diamond rings — a stunning emerald cut for her and a stylish band for him.
February 2024 - The Two File for Divorce
Williams filed for divorce from Guobadia on Thursday, Feb. 22 2024, after nearly a half of marriage. While the cause of their divorce is still unknown, sources close to Williams confirmed that the divorce is an “ongoing matter.”
Featured image by Paras Griffin/Getty Images