Monthly Archives: October 2011

Capitalizing on the Natural Hair Movement

I’m writing this blog in response to what others (non naturals) are saying about our hair.  I’m seeing questions by sisters asking questions like can black women capitalize and get ahead on the black hair movement. My answer is “Of Course We can“! The natural hair revolution is taken the world by storm. Who ever thought that the Afrocentric movement would blast off like it has. It has put our natural mami’s back in touch with their natural selves, and the natural hair movement is everywhere. I’m associated with hundreds of blogs, websites, face book friends and twitter followers. Yes we sisters are on the rise. I even made the transition to au natural, something I never thought I would do, even though I’ve always wanted to and admired those that did. It’s been 5 months and although I’m struggling with this natural thing, I’m in it to win it for the long run.
Hallelujah!  It’s a healthy and strong movement, and we can see the ripple effects of this strength throughout the world!  Nappy, Kinky, Curly sisters ALL OVER THE GLOBE are embracing their beautiful God given hair, and their black beauty!

But we’ve got to be responsible about this thang. It’s time for those who want to benefit off this movement to learn more about our success and how to maintain it, not just maintain it, but keep control of it because there are indeed those out there who would love to benefit off our hair and not prone to knocking you out the box in order to achieve this success. We are now in the position of letting this phenomenal success take care of us financially. This natural hair revolution has taken lessened the self hatred that some feel towards themselves, and can lift some out of poverty and into self reliance if done right, so I applaud all sister who have decided to move forward into entrepreneurship. These sisters and brothers I might add are everywhere. I see them in malls and shops everywhere sharing their knowledge and selling their products. A lot are making these products in their kitchens and doing the work themselves, from production to labeling to advertising and everything in between. I just want to tell those sisters, to get their education right, because the big companies are gunning for you, and they’ve got the dough to make it happen. They can make their product beautiful designed and sell them in markets that some of us could never achieve, so sister’s BEWARE! There is more!

The backbiting from sister against sister was inevitable. Sister’s wake up. Do you have to be so trivial and disc a sister’s products based simply on looks or how it comes out the bottle. We’re dribbling over things like the ingredients are not clear or the smell of the products and even the price. If you don’t like it, state why, but don’t go on to trash a person, her products and her personally because it’s really uncalled for and only shows your own envy and ignorance, but thankfully not all the natural sister’s are like this and I’m finding a lot of them are giving substantive, unbiased opinions on a product and keep it moving. Think of what that person had to do in order to create that product including time, products, money, advertising etc and just because you don’t like her and her products, doesn’t mean it won’t work for someone else, so keep it discreet. An honest opinion does not need to discredit a person’s character. We already get enough of that from outsiders.
I’ve said all this to say the natural hair movement is beautiful and can be an amazing avenue for entrepreneurs who see fit to start their own businesses, but to those entrepreneurs, keep it real, do your homework and keep bringing us those amazing products that are indeed being put into the natural population.

Hair Grease/Petroleum in Natural Hair – It’s an Epidemic

I’ve been coming across a lot of natural sisters using petroleum/mineral oil in their natural hair lately and I just can’t believe it. It’s like taking 3 steps forward by claiming, I am NATURAL. I am REAL and then taking 2 steps back by using this garbage called PETROLEUM that was created as a cheap filler in place of great natural ingredients to sell to blacks. Apparently people are only remembering the good part of the hair grease episode. The application by loving hands, because that indeed was the only good part of the petroleum revolution.

First, What is Petroleum?
(Chemistry / Elements & Compounds) a dark-coloured thick flammable crude oil occurring in sedimentary rocks around the Persian Gulf, in parts of North and South America, and below the North Sea, consisting mainly of hydrocarbons. Fractional distillation separates the crude oil into petrol, paraffin, diesel oil, lubricating oil, etc. Fuel oil, paraffin wax, asphalt, and carbon black are extracted from the residue.
Petroleum is a semi-solid substance that is composed of non-polar, water-repelling hydrocarbons. It is used widely in the cosmetics industry because it is cheaper to use as a filler ingredient than other oils. Petroleum is a common ingredient in hair care products that are formulated and marketed to ethnic markets. Because textured hair requires minor lubrication in order to remain pliable, ethnic shampoos and conditioners often contain this common ingredient. The most popular petroleum-rich hair care products on the ethnic market are hair greases and pomades, which are almost 100% petroleum or “petrolatum” by composition. Petroleum provides lubrication to the strands, but when used in excess, it can be detrimental to hair growth.

This definitely doesn’t sound like something I would want put into my hair or the hair of those I love.

Now let’s discuss the benefits of Petroleum.
Petroleum is an excellent lubricant and sealant for moisture within the hair shaft. It adds immediate softness and shine to the hair. When applied to hair strands, petroleum forms an impenetrable barrier that traps moisture in the hair. It is excellent at keeping moisture inside of porous, dry hair that would otherwise not be able to retain much moisture on its own. Petroleum forms such a strong barrier to water and other hair products that it is often applied directly to the scalp to protect and prepare clients for the use of harsh, lye-based chemical relaxers on the hair..

Now let’s discuss the negative effects of Petroleum
Petroleum works against effective hair growth in two ways. First, when applied to the scalp, petroleum-based products can clog the hair follicles. This clogging can lead to scalp problems like dandruff or sluggish hair growth over time. The scalp’s natural oil, or sebum, also has follicle clogging potential, but petroleum exacerbates the problem. Most people apply petroleum to combat scalp dryness and flaking, but flaking and dryness result because there is a lack of moisture reaching the scalp. Deep conditioning products, not petroleum-based greases, are a better remedy for this problem.. Second, the barrier petroleum creates upon the hair shaft keeps additional, needed moisture from entering the shaft. Petroleum-based products will cause the hair to shine, but will not allow the hair to be effectively moisturized. Many people mistake the artificial shine petroleum imparts for healthy moisture. As users add more and more petroleum-based grease or pomade to the hair for “moisturization,” the drier the hair will begin to feel. True moisture–water–simply cannot get into the shaft when layers of petroleum based products have built up on the strands. Because they repel moisture, overuse of petroleum-based products can lead to dryness and breakage which stunts hair growth.

Last but not least, let’s discuss the alternative                                                         Natural oils, like olive oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, grapeseed oils and the list goes on, are great lubricant and sealant alternatives to petroleum-based products. Unlike petroleum, these products will leave a breathable film on the hair and are easily removed when lightly shampooed. If you decide to continue using petroleum based products and moisturizers on your hair, you should invest in a good clarifying shampoo for weekly use along with a deep moisturizing and great conditioner. Sulfate free conditioners are not effective at lifting petroleum from the hair.

So I hope this article has given you something to think about when you are deciding whether to buy a product containing petroleum, that will then be used for your hair. I don’t get it. I hear comments all the time about back in the day when I used to use that old petroleum based product, but people did we have a lapse of memory or something. I don’t remember people’s hair growing down their back like the growth that these natural diva’s are having today by using non-petroleum based products. I remember people with their edges missing or thin, brittle hair that was breaking out by the handful. Believe me, I do remember all those things, sitting in that chair, all that grease, getting burnt if I made the wrong move or if my auntie’s hand slipped, but today proves that was just the time and this is a new day. It makes you think about what scientist and cosmetologist used to say, that every hair has a final stop or growth stage and hair no longer continues to grow at a certain point. I say it’s a lie and I can take you to the beautiful natural hair sisters all over the world to prove it. Remember all my natural hair Diva’s “Natural Hair is Beautiful”.