Seborrheic Dermatitis and Natural Hair

dandruff

Seborrheic demititis is persistent and problematic dandruff. The picture is a close up of what it looks like. Seborrheic dermititis affects the skin as well as the scalp. When I was a child i had it on my lashes and scalp. Although the causes are not completely known, a combination of the natural yeast and bacteria on the skin and its possible over-production as well as over-producing oil, may be the culprit leading to inflamed and/or flakey skin on the body and/or scalp. How do you know if you have seborrheic dermatitis or just regular dandruff? Well, in my case the answer to that came over time because we often just live with whatever is going on with us, be it anxiety or this. Ultimately I researched it and went to a doctor with my scalp in full “What the fuck is happening” mode to be sure. Dandruff should not be huge, oily flakes that can cause hair loss. The first sign was the condition of my scalp after I took of a stocking cap quick weave that I had on for about three to four weeks. I was young and my sister managed my hair. When she saw it she literally gaged! My scalp was completely covered in flakes. My scalp was not smooth because of the buildup which also flowed down the length of my strands. We washed and washed until she finally had to comb it out with a fine tooth comb. My mother bought Selsun Blue religiously. I used that for years. After transitioning to natural hair I realized how drying and damaging that shampoo was. I stopped using it and the flakes seemed worse than before. Over time I realized I could not go more than three days without cleaning my scalp which consists of simply running water over it and rubbing my scalp. By doing this I do not have to use any specialized shampoos. While in protective styles I STILL SPRITZ MY SCALP WITH CLEAN WATER IN A SPRAY BOTTLE OR LEAVE IN CONDITIONER. The downside? I don’t think locs of any kind are in my future. Should flakes appear, they are stubborn and hard to get out of the hair because they are so oily. They stick to every strand. I can’t imagine being able to avoid them getting stuck in the length of a sister/dreadloc.

To Care For Any Kind of Dandruff

-Do not scratch! This will further irritate the scalp and cause inflammation!

-Do not grease or oil the scalp! This will exacerbate the problem and make it even more difficult to get out of the hair!

-Do keep the scalp as clean as possible but AVOID abrasive shampoos. What’s the point if the scalp is clean but the hair is struggling?

-Do figure out the typical time frame of your scalp turnover. Knowing this will help you stay on top of when you should be cleansing the scalp. My scalp will BEGIN to get buildup around day 4 or 5 so at around day 3 I rinse it with water. I DO NOT HAVE A PROBLEM WITH FLAKES AT ALL

-Warm water rinsing will ease the tight scalp feeling

-If you must use oil, use the oils that fight off bacteria and viruses. The best ones are TEA TREE, PEPPERMINT, EUCALYPTUS, LEMON GRASS and LEMON OILS. These are natural antivirals and bacteria fighters!!

Address the problem and get help from a doc if need be. Not only is it unsightly but IT’S UNCOMFORTABLE AS HELL TRUST ME..I KNOW! As always, I type it how I think it and I hope this helps! Chk out my Facebook Beauty group the one and only Unencumbered Beauties for tips, hacks and more. Smooches! https://www.facebook.com/groups/UnencumberedBeauties/

Washing Your Way to Thicker Hair

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There are many reasons we suffer from thinning hair, but one thing we likely all share is our desire for thicker hair. Whether the thinning is around the edges or the whole head, we should treat the hair in its entirety. If you’ve made diet changes and are still experiencing thin hair or if you know for sure what the cause is (tight braids for example) than this blog entry may help you, it definitely helped me. The products I’m going to discuss will work for natural and relaxed hair alike BUT I think it should be understood that hair that is thin will likely be more fragile and perming it will only make it appear more thin. However, that is not to say you shouldn’t try some of these products anyways.

In the above picture from left to right we see Tropic Isle Living Black Castor Oil Shampoo and a little metal cup showing you what it looks like, then there’s the Millcreek Biotene H-24 Natural Shampoo, Sunny Isle Jamaican Black Castor Oil with its cap off and product in the cap and finally on the end is the Oscar Blandi Dry Styling Heat Protect Spray. I know many tend to shy away from washing but that may be a problem. The scalp needs to be clean and free of debris to maximize growth and healthy hair. The problem comes in when deciding what to wash hair with. If you have thin hair, washing with a shampoo containing biotin, JBCO or both is likely to help with gaining thickness. I’m not suggesting how often you should wash, rather what is best to use for washing. If you had a bad reaction to biotin supplements you can still enjoy the hair benefits without ingesting it. Biotin helps to thicken and grow hair. The castor oil shampoo will thicken and moisturize the hair. The smell is exactly like the oil which may or may not be pleasing to you, it just smells earthy. In my experience, the results were noticeable after the first use, but conditioning was a must. Some shampoos can be damaging and stripping to the hair, SOME but not ALL. These shampoos work and are inexpensive.

Jamaican Black Castor Oil has long been regarded as useful in gaining and maintaining growth and thickness. If the goal is to get edges to grow in just dab the finger tips in the oil and massage the hairline. For the length of the hair you can either warm the oil in the palm of the hand by rubbing the palms together (this helps with even and easy distribution) or you can “water” the oil down by adding lighter oils such as olive and/or jojoba oil to the JBCO and use the concoction in a spray bottle as needed. I have grown back my edges after micro braids with this oil and recommended it to a relative who lost a child and pulled at their hair out of stress. After healing emotionally they were left with very short, thin hair. The JBCO helped to fill in thinner spots and retain growth for a healthier, fuller appearing head of hair. I recommended the JBCO shampoo, conditioner and oil to a fellow deployed Airman and it also worked for her.

The last product in the picture is a heat protectant. I specifically bought this one because my hair does not have to be wet to use it. There are fewer heat protectant that are dry than there are that are wet. Protecting the hair from heat will minimize how fragile the hair becomes. Heat damage can lead to thinner hair. Use a heat protectant whenever you use heated tools and blow dry. Hair can also benefit from an SPF if you’re going to be out doors for extended periods of time.

In short, use your shampoo to STRENGTHEN  and THICKEN the hair, not degrade it. Add oils and a heat protectant to thicken and protect against thinning. What’s better? Each product mentioned can be purchased off of amazon and are not expensive! I hope this helps because we all just want healthy, manageable hair! Don’t forget to visit and join my Facebook Beauty page the one and only Unencumbered Beauties! Look up, look right click the botton oorrrrrr just follow this link! https://www.facebook.com/groups/UnencumberedBeauties/

Lighting For Pics and Season Appropriate Makeup

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         We always hear about natural lighting and how its best for photography, but then we use our flashes and have to take pictures when no natural lighting may be available. All of this leaves us with more pictures we delete than actually use. There are certain things we can do to ensure our makeup indoors looks just as flattering outdoors, we take better pictures and are aware of how the products we use can work against us. Makeup: I know we try to protect our skin with SPF but foundations, concealers and powders with SPF can ruin our pictures. This is because they can give a washed out face or reveal the line where the product stops and skin and hairline begins. So for days where you are taking professional pictures (i.e wedding days) opt for a routine without SPF in the products! If you are trying to make a video or take a picture, natural lighting is best because it is thee broadest light there is! The broader the light source, the softer the subject appears. Broad light sources reduces contrast, wrinkles, fine lines and texture. Flashes and other narrow light sources work to highlight EVERYTHING I just mentioned (avoid this by holding it further out). This is why natural light is always best! If indoors move lamps closer to yourself or whomever is being photographed, this broadens the light. Move it further away and create shadows that can make features look severe. In the included picture you can see my skin tone changing because of the lighting. The larger picture has natural lighting with the mirror focusing light just in the middle of my face. With this even you can see how my skin looks lighter in that area. The top photo is lamp lighting and it is further away, only a couple of feet. Below that I’ve combined a partially closed blind and a lamp, followed by another mirror pic done by lamplight only. Each picture differs. 

       There are two distinct looks in my picture above. The three pics on the left side of the picture have a brighter set of colors. I’m wearing a reddish-orange lid with my regular transition color and under brow highlight. Just under my waterline is a delicate line of bright yellow. This type of look screams tropical and is best for the warmer seasons. Pops of bright color lookS beautiful on sun-kissed skin. When we head into fall and winter months we start getting into the Merlot toned lipsticks, less glosses, more mattes, deeper toned eyeshadow and smokey eyes. Though some of these colors can be worn during warmer months, they seem to capture the beauty of a woman more so during colder months. Consider the season when choosing makeup colors and palettes! Like my blog? You’ll love my Facebook Group Unencumbered Beauties!!! Follow my blog, Join my FB Group, chat, learn and teach!! https://www.facebook.com/groups/UnencumberedBeauties/     

Starting A New Facebook Group and Why I Did It

Only one day ago I started a new Facebook group, Unencumbered Beauties. I started the group because I posted, in another group dedicated to haircare, about my skincare regiment and was overwhelmed by all the questions I received. I was replying to posts for about five hours! Thank goodness I have the Facebook app on my phone. In my post I addressed skin problems that are symptomatic of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). I have had these problems for years and wasn’t getting information specific to the cause of them. I didn’t realize how many women had the exact same problems that I had. That experience is what lead me to starting a group just for skincare and beauty hacks for all women but especially those with problematic skin and those with PCOS. I don’t have all the answers but what I do have is a sincere want to learn and pass on information that I’ve acquired over the years. Every embarrassing skin situation, you name it, I’ve probably been through it. My group is to start a conversation and talk about specific products, habits and more that can at the very minimum erase the embarrassment of PCOS off of our faces. My skin isn’t perfect, but for the first time in years I can say LOOK AT MY SKIN! I’M NOT WEARING MAKEUP! I can opt to not wear makeup and not feel embarrassed about my looks anymore. I’ve battled my face, hormones, body and self esteem long enough to know that I have a voice, story and information to help whoever wants to hear. I hope you as well will join my group to motivate, encourage and inform all the women I call MY BEAUTIES.

Link to my NEW Facebook Group UNENCUMBERED BEAUTIES

https://www.facebook.com/groups/UnencumberedBeauties/

Finish the Beat!!!!!

Finish the Beat!!!!!

Yaaasssss! You know the beat I’m talking about!!! Listen I didn’t realize what a difference blush or mascara with eyeliner makes either (not really this face been beat since 9th grade honey!) Contouring, waterline eyeliner and eye shadow are, in my opinion, not required for an “everyday look”. In my picture I have a “fresh face”on the left (as you’re looking at the picture). I added eye shadow because I’m just in love with that particular midnight blue color on the crease only and a pinkish nude lip. In the opposite picture I have a full face with eye shadow starting from under the brow and a red lip. Whether you decide to wear eye shadow or not a face in not complete without a blush or bronzer of some sort. Only applying foundation takes away definition and natural contours. When blush or bronzer isn’t applied, your face is one dimensional. Without those things you can’t accentuate your cheek bones or the slimness of your face. Your face is literally a blank canvas! In both pictures I have foundation (no concealer because my foundation is a complete coverage), blush and bronzer and I’ve contoured my face just under my cheeks and highlighted just above my cheeks. Even if I’m wearing very little makeup I ALWAYS “do” my brows. I don’t know if this is another treacherous trend but AVOID YOUR BROWS WHEN APPLYING FOUNDATION! Brows are a focal point no mater what else is “going on” on your face. Their shape determines how wide or small your eyes and nose looks. HIGH ARCHED BROWS AREN’T FOR EVERY FACE! Brows have the ability to make your face look neat, in order, manicured and proportional. The wrong brows for a particular shaped face (or “struggle brows”) can give a face a sense of distortion, a look of surprise and gives someone like me the idea that you don’t have a clue of how you’re showcasing your own damn face. Here’s my list of a few tips that can at least get some of you on the right track:
1-Lips, eye shadow and our outfit SHOULD NOT MATCH. They should all compliment each other but matching colors suggest immaturity.
2-Even if applied lightly blush and/or bronzer makes a world of difference USE THEM but USE THEM WISELY. Please understand that putting blush on the balls of your cheeks look great….while you’re smiling. Stop smiling and the blush shifts downwards #nothot
3-If you use lip liner it should absolutely without a doubt NOT be a thick noticeable line in black or dark brown (what year are we in again?)
4-Even if you don’t contour touch a tad bit of high light (I use a shimmer, it’s shown in both pictures) on the tip of your nose, chin and on the spot directly above your lip and centered
5-Please, please don’t have your face mismatching with your neck. Apply, only if need be, your foundation to your neck insuring you have one color….a mess
6-This one is just my opinion……If you are wearing eye shadow you should be wear eyeliner at least on the top lid. ijs
7-Clean up your brows. I don’t trust anyone, professional or not, with my hair or my brows but that isn’t an excuse to look a caveman mess. Clean them thangs up!
8-ALWAYS apply your make up AND THAN do your hair. If not hair products will find their way to your brushes and mid way through the day YOU’LL HAVE A HUGE UNFORGIVING PIMPLE on your face and instead of showcasing your beautiful face you’re pimple will do all the talking for you.
9-A fresh face is beautiful, I get it, but at least put on a little mascara and lipgloss. I mean damn look like you care. I can’t take you females!
10- Last, but not least, step away from the mirror for a sec than approach it again. If what you see is #notokay don’t force the world to see it either.

All in all, we’re different and so is our ideas of beauty. Be confident, FEEL beautiful and radiate sexy!

Bleaching & Why I’ve Decided to Stop

Bleaching & Why I've Decided to Stop

First, let me make it absolutely clear: If you decide to bleach your hair, your hair needs will change. This however, does not mean you can not have healthy, strong hair. I’ve been bleaching since 2011 into 2012 and ever since. I bleached while transitioning and was still able to get long healthy hair. I bleached after I did a BC with the same results. So long as you lighten your hair gradually and avoid trying to get the color shown in my picture in one setting your hair will be fine. In fact I’ve often told girls with permed hair (when asked about my hair color) that I feel it’s too risky to bleach permed hair. Even if you buy a box of hair color, know that if it’s lighter than you hair it has some kind of bleaching element in it. Bleach literally strips your hair of color, in the case of box hair color they give you a color to then deposit into and onto your strands. Box hair color (when going lighter) is dangerous because they give you a shampoo, conditioner and leave in that coats your strands with product that doesn’t allow you to see and feel what your hair texture is post bleach (i don’t mean texture as in curl pattern or coarseness, but simply the way it feels). If you bleach your hair will feel different because it has been stripped. Silicons and the like alter how your hair really feels which can lead you to think your hair is soft and moisturized when it’s not (you’ll end up not giving your hair what it needs to cope with being stripped). I use Clairol Kaleidocolors blue powder pack (toner included so I can skip that step) and Clairol Professional Soy 4Plex pure white, deep conditioning developer in 30 (extra lift). I just use a PH blancing shampoo to wash it out following with a homemade deep conditioner that I leave on over night. I haven’t experienced any more breakage or split ends (both minimal) than normal. However, the moisture my hair needs has gone up DRAMATICALLY. It’s like a part time job making sure my hair is moisturized properly! Whether I “style” my hair or not everyday I have to use water, oils, and creams to keep my hair moisturized and to prevent drying which will lead to breakage. In my Find A Knot Cut A Knot blog you can see the difference in my bleached hair and my roots so a great deal of stripping goes into achieving the color in this picture. All in all my hair is happy and healthy so why have I decided to stop? BECAUSE IM TIRED YALL!! It takes so much effort to keep it healthy it’s not funny! I know that if I stop bleaching I’ll still have the rest of my hair to worry about but through the months and years to come trimming will alleviate me of that. For the time being even if I quit bleaching I’ll just have to keep up the effort for the rest of my bleached hair. I wont say the initial bleaching was a waste of time because I love the color I’ve achieved through bleaching. I almost feel like somewhere down the line I’ll get bored and want change and end up bleaching my hair again. As long as my hair is healthy I’LL BLEACH IF I WANNA! As of right now I’m kinda over it…As always I say it the way I think it! BL signing off