Gee, I think we've all had moments when we've gotten out of bed, went into the bathroom to style our hair and, it seems like no matter what we do, nothing comes out as we planned. Ugh. Usually what we call that is a "bad hair day," right? Oh, but is it really? If you've been finding yourself wearing more head wraps and hats these days and you've chalked it up to having more bad hair days than usual, I just want to provide you with a few things to consider — ones that, if you take them into serious consideration, you could end up having a whole lotta less bad hair days in your future.
First of All, There Is Absolutely No Such Thing As “Bad Hair”
You know what's a trip about bad hair days? Have you ever noticed that when it seems like you have one that a whole lot of other stuff isn't going all that right either? What I mean by that is, it's not usually that our hair decides that all of a sudden, it's not going to cooperate. Sometimes, we woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Other times, we're rushing too much to give our tresses the time that it needs and deserves. Many times, we didn't "prep it well" the night before.
Whatever the case may be, the main thing to keep in mind is, no matter how much your hair may seem to be throwing a bit of a temper tantrum right along with you at any given time, there really is no such thing as "bad hair". Therefore, if your hair seems to be showing out a bit, it's usually not because of your actual hair (so don't do anything drastic just yet) but some other circumstances that could be causing it to not get in line with what you want it to do. I call these "hair inconveniences". Inconveniences like what?
6 Hair Inconveniences That Can Lead to Bad Hair Days
Too Much Humidity
OK. Since most of us have some sort of curly texture to our hair, that's a part of the reason why it stays drier than non-Black women's locks do. The "science" of it all is the natural sebum that comes from our scalp has difficulty moisturizing our strands from root to tip, due to the twists and turns that it experiences while trying to get down our hair shaft. As a direct result, we have to take a few extra steps in order to keep our hair hydrated such as deep conditioning, sealing our ends, sometimes using a humectant on our hair and/or sleeping with a humidifier.
However, as with most things in life, there is such a thing as "too much of a good thing". In this case, when our hair is affected with too much humidity, that won't only result in shrinkage but frizzing too. So, if your hair is frizzy as all get out and you sleep with a humidifier every night, you might want to turn your setting down. If you're going to use heat to style your hair, make sure you apply a thermal heat protectant (it will protect your hair from outdoor humidity). And when you're styling your hair, in general, applying some whipped shea butter certainly can't hurt. It will help to add a little "weight" to your hair, so that it can combat frizz while also making sure that your hair maintains the moisture that it needs.
Maryam Hampton is a popular YouTuber who has a video that can walk you through how to make whipped shea butter from the comfort and convenience of your own home. You can check it out here.
Too Little or Too Much Protein
I don't know about you but a huge mistake that I tend to make is not giving myself a regular protein treatment. This is necessary because well, your hair is made up of mostly protein (keratin). According to most professional stylists, a protein treatment is something that needs to happen every 4-6 weeks.
So, how do you know if your hair needs a protein treatment? It doesn't have a lot of elasticity. It's limp and can't hold a style. It's breaking a lot. You've recently color-treated your hair. It feels "gummy" to the touch. If any of these things are the case, no wonder you're having a so-called bad hair day. And what if you're someone who actually does give yourself protein treatments but you're not sure if you're overdoing it? If your hair feels super stiff, is hard or brittle, lacks sheen, snaps off at the ends rather easily and/or you've got more tangles or split ends than usual — lay off on the protein treatments for a couple of months and focus on deep conditioning your hair instead.
For the record, a conditioner that has jojoba in it is awesome because that is something that is really effective when it comes to treating protein-sensitive hair. Give it a shot if your hair seems to be over-processed from protein.
It’s Time for a Cut (or Trim)
If you've got a lot of fairy knots. If your hair can't seem to hold any definition or style. If your ends are "see through" and straggly. If your locks seem "stuck" when it comes to growth. If it's been a couple of months since you've put some shears to your head. These are all strong indications that you need to either get a cut, a trim or at least that you need to dust your own ends (you can watch a video on how to do that here). If you ignore these signs, not only do you increase your chances of having even more bad hair days, you also run the risk of damaging your hair even more because, the less your hair does what you want it to do, the more prone you will be to constantly manipulating it with styling tools or even your hands. That's why you really should make a practice of trimming/dusting every eight weeks or so and getting a professional cut once a season (no less than twice a year).
You Need to Switch Up Your Hair Products
I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who has at least one space that is designated for all kinds of hair products — and at least 65 percent of them, you don't even use.
While finding the right ones that complement your hair are about as taxing as finding the right partner, it's important to keep in mind that 1) just because a particular product might work for your favorite YouTube naturalista or even one of your girlfriends, that doesn't mean that it's going to work for you and 2) there are clear signs when a product isn't really your hair's homie — if it leaves behind a ton of build-up or residue; it irritates your scalp; it zaps out moisture; it reduces volume; it severely alters your hair texture; it makes your hair less manageable; it causes the color of your hair to fade at an accelerated pace and/or it doesn't complement the season that you're in.
For instance, when it's cold outside, you're probably going to use your central heat more. That, on top of the fact that cold air can actually raise your hair's cuticles and dry them out, you need to make sure that you not only deep condition your hair, each and every wash day, but that you add an oil like grapeseed (it adds moisture and shine); avocado (it adds moisture and repairs damaged hair); olive (it softens and boosts your hair's antioxidant levels); argan (it protects your hair and scalp from environmental damage) and/or pumpkin seed oil (it nourishes your hair follicles and increases volume) to your conditioner (even if you use a leave-in conditioner), so that your hair is provided with extra moisture and your scalp is provided with extra protection. During the warmer months, your hair needs products that will protect it from UV damage, creams and gels that will encourage less heat styling and deep conditioning masks to combat things like sweat, salt water and chlorine.
Bottom line, failing to alter your products with the seasons or not observing how your hair is reacting to a particular product can also lead to bad hair days, if you're not careful.
You Need to Switch Up Your Mood
Maybe it's just me but it seems like if I'm already in a bad mood, it's about a definite that I'm going to be hypercritical when it comes to my looks or mad impatient while I'm in the process of figuring out what the heck to do with my hair. That's why, if you know that you know that you know that you woke up on the wrong side of the bed, avoid a mirror for a while. Instead, do some meditating; listen to some of your favorite (non-triggering) music; eat a favorite food that will put you in a good mood (check out "In A Bad Mood? These Foods Will Lift Your Spirits!" and "Eating Well: 10 Foods That Can Improve Your Mental Health"); throw on a hat and take a quick walk outdoors; engage in some morning or shower sex; audibly declare some things that you love about yourself or pull out your gratitude journal and jot down some things that you are truly thankful for. Once you do something that can offer up some "silver linings", it'll be easier to look at your hair with the love and patience that it truly deserves.
You Need to Give Your Hair a Break
Think about it for a second. How would you feel if you were constantly being tugged or pulled on? My point is, sometimes, what we perceive to be a bad hair day is simply the universe's way of saying, "Give your hair a break, why don't you?" That same-placed ponytail is adding too much pressure to the same spot on your head. That flat iron is starting to damage your hair's natural texture. The way you've been parting your hair is training it to not be very flexible anymore. Sometimes, all we need to do with a so-called bad hair day is just…leave our hair alone. Put on that turban, hat, wig or weave and just give it a chance to be totally left alone. Or we can really go all out and just let it do…whatever it wants to do.
Was this little write-up supposed to convince you that your hair is always going to cooperate with you? Nope. That's not how life works. Hopefully, though, it helped to shed some light on the fact that oh, about 7 times outta 10, you've got more control over bad hair days than you've probably been giving yourself credit for. Now that you know that, seize the bad hair days, sis! Straight up.
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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 email@example.com. 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.
If the recurring strikes and scandals didn't give you an inkling of how seedy the entertainment industry can be, surely you can look to stories of former child stars whose fame of yesteryears can, at times, be a source of the conflict and inner turmoil they encounter today. While some child stars were able to keep riding the Hollywood wave to new levels and heights in a decades-spanning career, some found success occupying other lanes like retail, and some still look to the past as if it were yesterday with heavy regret due to the career that could have, or even should have, been.
Tiffany Evans' claim to fame happened early on in her childhood as her powerhouse vocals caught the attention of many during her time as a contestant on Star Search in 2003. At the time, she wasn't even 12, but she was racking up perfect scores with every performance, a competition first. Unsurprisingly, she scored a record deal shortly thereafter. Tiffany would go on to release her self-titled debut album in 2008 with singles like "I'm Grown" and perhaps her biggest hit, "Promise Ring," which featured Ciara. In 2005, she also had a minor role in the Tyler Perry film Diary of a Mad Black Woman.
Two decades later, Tiffany is now reminiscing on being able to spend her childhood years doing something she loved but regrettably having "nothing to show for it" as an adult, all due to greed and because the industry will either lift you up or spit you out.
Recently, an Instagram post published by The Neighborhood Talk shared a comment Tiffany left on the Instagram account @flyandfamousblackgirls regarding her experience with childhood fame. The post she commented on was a picture of herself from February 2003, when she appeared as a guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. The comment she left felt like an open letter to her inner child. In it, she recounted manipulation, missed opportunities, and abuse she encountered during that time.
"If I knew then what I know now I would have done things differently. I wish I could've changed so much that was going around this little girl. Everybody took from me. All of the hard earned money I made. The work I put in. They took from me, ruined some relationships in this business for me, squandered some opportunities that if you guys knew about it, you would've wanted to get it back in blood for me.
"I spent years doing something that I love, to become an adult and have nothing to show for it. It bothers my mental a lot some time. The ones who know the truth, really know... from a teenager to my adult years I went out looking for love in wrong places, was manipulated, and terribly abused."
Tiffany then expressed that her journey to where she's grown to since her time in the limelight brought her beauty that she has so much gratitude for. Since music will always be a priority for her, what she has been through doesn't stop her from wanting to see her career go further than it was allowed to go in the past.
Her comment continued, "Out of that kind of life I gained beautiful children, I met my soulmate but I really want to see what I worked so hard for all my childhood finally come to life! And I love music so I'm really working at it still y'all. I trust the Lord. Thank you for always rooting for me love y'all!"
"Please keep rooting for me." Tiffany ended her comment, prompting people to follow her music page. "we're dropping music together and some solo stuff soon too."
We're always rooting for you, Tiffany!
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