Post Partum Shedding on Natural Hair: How I Survived (and you will too)

In July I posted about my experience with post partum shedding, in which I vented about losing my hair after having my son.  Now that THAT ship is farther off in the distance, I thought it was absolutely necessary for me to share my advice on pushing through such a trying time.

 

1. Don’t panic. Post-partum shedding is completely normal. The rapid hair loss, shedding, and thinning are frustrating. Shocking. Scary. Embarrassing– and a slew of other adjectives which should be followed by a series of exclamation marks. Please promise me you won’t make any rash decisions or take drastic measures out of frustration. The last place you want to find yourself is on your closet floor having a meltdown at 4am because you just hacked off all of your hair because it wouldn’t stop falling out. (If we were playing a game of “Never Have I Ever” this would be my opportunity to take a sip because that was totally me.) Your hair is taking it’s normal course of adjusting to the changes of your body and hormones over the past year (pregnancy and postpartum) and it’s expecting you to make that transition easier. I know it is so much easier said than done, but try your best to stay CALM. Now is your opportunity to delve into a bit of research, speak with a health care professional, and/or make a few changes to make the next few months easier to tolerate.

2. Take care of your hair. Then leave it alone. During this transitional period, your hair is exceptionally fragile and vulnerable to breakage. The last thing you want to do is create bigger problems by over manipulating your hair or not allowing it to rest. Don’t neglect your hair, but don’t smother it. Baby your hair. Opt for low manipulation hairstyles and avoid styles that cause stress and tension to your edges and the length of your hair. Wash, condition, deep condition, style, and keep it moving. (I relied on a lot of twists and head wraps/ turbans to keep my hair tucked away and my mind off of my hair.)  Continue taking your prenatal vitamins, drinking plenty of water, and keep your hair happy– but leave it alone!

3. Time heals all. Research has shown that post-partum shedding typically lasts an average of three months. When you are dealing with something as traumatic as hair loss, that seems like FOREVER. Trust me, I know. As cliche as it sounds, you have to remember that this is only temporary, and that the worse of this phase will NOT last forever. Continue following your healthy hair and lifestyle routine and TRY to focus on taking care of yourself rather than counting the hairs on your head. Before you know it, your hair will be back and those edges will be LAID.  Remember: “It will all get better with time.”

These truths probably would have saved me a lot of grief when I initially fell into the dark hole of “post partum shedding.” I hope this has helped you in some way, and I wish you the best of luck on your journey of growth and self care. Above all else, remember that you just made a beautiful human and that alone is worth all the love and care in the world!

July 2016

post partum shedding on natural hair, natural hair, natural hair care, natural hair blog, hair loss, hair thinning, fine hair, hair breakage, how to, cure post partum shedding

 November 2016

natural hair, natural hair styles, low bun, sleek low bun, hair tutorial, natural hair blog, the little in jen that could blog

 

Did you know I have a YouTube channel? Here is my video about surviving postpartum shedding:

Shimmer and Shine Dress Up/ J’s Halloween 2016 look

J and I had so much fun creating AND editing this Shimmer and Shine inspired video together. This is BY FAR my favorite video to date.  I just thought I should also mention that this comes with no coaching, practicing, or leading whatsoever. We totally freestyled and this is our first AND ONLY take filming. I loved watching J take the lead, I love my little muffin so much!

We hope you enjoy and thank you for watching!

Xo.

 

Retaining Moisture for Fine, Low Porosity Hair (+ How to Win at Protective Styling)

How To Moisturize Fine Hair

Retaining moisture for fine, low porosity hair can be tricky. We seek hair that is healthy and moisturized, but not weighed down and coated. Some products are barely there and do nothing at all, while others just sit on top of our hair and cause it to dry out. Some methods are confusing and some are flat out counter productive.

I’ve realized that the key to retaining moisture in fine, low porosity hair is LIGHT layering. I can’t stress the “light” enough. You want to use products that are moisturizing, but will not coat your hair strands and lead to product buildup. As you can imagine, moisturizing your hair is challenging when it is coated because the products act as a shield, preventing your hair from breathing and of course taking in additional moisture. The result is dry hair, which of course can lead to bigger problems (like breakage and shedding) if left untreated.

My fine haired curlies/naturals, we cannot use heavy products in every step of our styling regimen. Our hair will not thrive in these conditions. In light of this, I have to consciously think about which products to use and when, before styling my hair. If I am using a thick leave in conditioner, I will style with a light gel. If plan on using a heavy styling cream, I’ll opt for a light leave in conditioner. If oil is being added to the equation, it HAS to be a light oil such as jojoba or almond oil.

Some things to consider to help with moisture retention for fine or low porosity hair:

  • Apply your leave in conditioner to wet/damp hair; Styling products to damp/dry hair.
  • Work in sections. I’ve found it best if I work in sections no larger than the palm of my hand. If I can’t fit all of the hair in my hand, I’ll separate and make it smaller. Working in sections is best because it helps ensure your products are evenly distributed (not clumping anywhere) and calls for greater volume when styling.
  • Choose where your “heavier” product will go. Want to use a cream styler? Use a light leave in. Is your favorite leave-in conditioner thick? Opt for a lighter gel to seal it with. Trust me, your hair will thank you for it.

Protective Styling Like a Boss

Keep your light layering technique in mind and install the best style for your lifestyle.

The BEST piece of advice I can offer is– if possible–  work on dry, stretched hair. Although I love my coils, working on stretched hair for styles like twists or braids is optimal because my hair is already detangled and stretched so I’m not fighting against curls and tangles as I work. It also makes for more a more defined style because you’ll only have one curl pattern once the style is complete, not a twist out that coils at the roots or goes in different directions. Unless of course, that is the look you are going for.

Though I once doubted the efficiency (and practicality) of protective styling for my hair, I have to say that because of these tips, I’m a believer. Since I’ve found the best way to keep my hair moisturized while in a protective style, and found the best way to install specific styles for my hair type, my hair journey has reached new levels. I can rock a twist out, ya’ll. This is a big deal!

Did I miss any tips on styling and profiling for fine or low porosity hair? Share your do’s and don’t below!

 

 

My Simple Skincare Routine and Natural DIY Hacks

I get a lot of compliments about my skin “glowing” or looking “flawless.” First of all, it isn’t exactly flawless, but THANK YOU. I’ll have to admit, it has been a very long time coming. At one point it got so bad that when I first started dating Nick, his mom went to Sephora and was about to buy a zit zapper for me, but settled on suggesting Proactiv and “advice” on clearing the bumps on my forehead.

I’ve made it through burning my skin using super harsh chemicals, I’ve tried just about everything on the shelves, and I struggled with my confidence for so long because of it.

I’m proud of where I am now, but I’m even happier because my regimen is super simple, cost effective, and HEALTHY!

Remember what we learned when we were kids? Keep it simple, right? Well, that’s exactly how I keep my skin happy, healthy, and CLEAR. Here is my regimen:

1. Oil as a makeup remover. I’ve saved so much money with this simple hack, not to mention it’s super convenient, and all natural.

2. Wash with a gentle cleanser. For the longest time I was convinced that I needed something with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid because of my skin concerns. It wasn’t until I got pregnant with J (and switched to something less harsh in fear of chemicals being absorbed into my body) that I realized my skin could flourish with something gentle. Granted since I’ve gotten older, so much has changed in terms of the way I eat and my water intake now, but it does make me wonder if the skin concerns I had were agitated from my own doing.

3. Apple cider vinegar makes for a wonderful toner/astrigent. Don’t forget to dilute it with water so it isn’t too acidic for your face.

4. Use a lightweight moisturizer. While many use products that contain natural oils, I have found that as of now, an oil free moisturizer works best for me for daily purposes. I also look for a moisturizer that is fragrance free and contains SPF. (Always wear your protection peeps, skin cancer is real!)

5. Aloe is one of my best friends. No lie. Aloe is always there for me. Among other things, I love it’s anti-inflammatory properties which is why I apply it to my face at night, concentrating on problem areas like redness or blemishes I may have. Nine times out of ten I will awake to the problem significantly smaller if not gone completely.

6. Have you been introduced to the magical goodness that is jojoba oil? It is liquid gold, I tell you. I rely on jojoba oil as my first choice makeup remover, a moisturizer for my hair, and I’ve used it on my skin as well (for dry patches, for example). This is without a doubt my favorite oil, and probably the oil I feel MOST confident in using on my face because it is non-comedegenic so it does not clog pores. I will definitely be creating a post of it’s own about this one.

Another one of my favorite tips (not mentioned) is using milk of magnesia as a makeup primer. This is another LIFE CHANGING hack. I’ve never had an issue with my skin breaking out or having an adverse effect, and my makeup really stays put with this primer. I would caution to apply a THIN layer to your face (or just oilier areas), as it is super mattifying and may leave a bit of a white cast on your face. If you are someone who prefers a light to medium coverage, keep this in mind so you can don’t break your arm blending it all in.

I would LOVE to hear your healthy skincare practices. Share below so we can drink from the fountain of youth together! 😉

 

 

All Natural Personal Hygiene Favorites (October 2016)

I’m so excited to be building my collection of natural/organic products and these are some of the products I’ve started with. (Aside from my oils, and DIY practices that I’ve been using for years.) Though this isn’t a “haul”, these are true products I’ve been using to date and I can’t wait to try and share more finds!

I hope you enjoy this video loves. I wanted to keep it as light and natural as possible, in light of my purpose of making these lifestyle changes. The frightful truth is, choosing to use products laden with toxins, chemicals and parabens makes us susceptible to cancer and other serious health risks, and that is not something I am going to allow my family to be vulnerable to. I am making an effort to make cleaner, healthier changes for myself and my family because our health is all that we have. For more information about parabens and your health, I absolutely urge you to do your research, just as I’m continuing to do so.

 

 

Featured Products:

Crystal Essence Mineral Deodorant (Chamomile and Green Tea)

Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Body Wash

Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Toothpaste

Dr. Bronner’s Castille Soap (Peppermint)

 

Are you using anything natural or organic in your beauty regimen? Share your favorites with me!

My Fall Beauty Advice is Featured on Well and Good (.com)!

The only thing more exciting about the editor of  Well and Good (wellness website) contacting me for an interview on beauty tips, is seeing how great it all came together. I’m so excited to be featured on their website in an article geared for fall beauty. This article is packed with DIY beauty rituals from myself and two other beauty bloggers that know the power of a few great hacks to take your beauty game to the next level. Please check it out and share this one with a friend!
www.wellandgood.com/good-l…/lip-care-rituals-at-home/slide/2