Preventing Crown-Area Breakage

I love a sleek, sophisticated bun! Buns take very little time to achieve, use minimal product, and can be a great style option to protect the ends of your hair from exposure to the elements. But, like most things, too much of something may not always be a good thing. When I first went natural, I always wore my buns with a middle part. Like ALWAYS! I liked how a middle part seemed to elongate my face and give me a more mature look. But, after a while, I noticed small hairs sticking up in my crown area and I would have to apply more and more product to slick my hair down. After doing some research, I came across product suggestions and methods to reduce crown-area breakage.

 I first started applying Jamaican Black Castor Oil (JBCO) to my crown area every night. JBCO is often used to grow and strengthen hair. In the mornings, I would then apply my gel or pomade to slick my hair. The JBCO served as a foundation, if you will, because of its thickness. I also started using a soft boar bristle brush on my hair. I try to use my hands as styling tools as often as possible before I use more conventional styling tools such as comb’s and brush’s. Soft boar bristle brushes are less harsh on the hair. Another change I made was switching up my part. I had to abandon my beloved middle part for the sake of my hair. I started parting my hair on either the left side or the right side. I also began wearing my bun in different positions. Instead of always pulling my hair straight back, I would position it in the middle of my head or the top of my head, like a ballerina J.

 After using up the JBCO, I didn’t purchase it again. Not because I didn’t like it, but because I’m cheap and the product served its purpose by strengthening the hair in my crown area. I now use a spray bottle mixed with water and aloe vera juice. I picked up the idea to use this aloe vera juice by following Naptural85 on YouTube.  I spray my hair with that mixture, add my pomade, slick my hair as best I can with my hands, and then finish slicking the hair back with my soft boar bristle brush. Aloe vera juice has amazing benefits. It acts as a natural conditioner that softens and hydrates the hair and adds shine. It also soothes an irritated scalp if you are experiencing scalp issues.

 Though we may have a signature style, we have to be open to different styling options if our hair is no longer responding positively to that style. When you reach a stumbling block in your natural hair journey, do some research and re-adjust your regimen. Learn to value health over convenience.

 Have you dealt with crown breakage before? If so, how did you combat it?

Crown area picture

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What is Your Why?

“Why are you trying to lose weight? You look fine.” This is the question I received on numerous occasions while trying to lose weight. I appreciated the sentiment behind it, but regardless of how I looked on the outside to others, I didn’t like the way I looked or how I felt on the inside. I didn’t like seeing a double chin or a large tummy. I didn’t like feeling sluggish and heavy. I wanted to have more confidence when I looked in the mirror and I wanted to feel better throughout the day. That was my why; my motivation for wanting to live a healthier lifestyle. I was embarking on this journey for me and no one else. Yes, it was nice to have support along the way, but even if I didn’t have that support, I already made up in my mind that I was going to do this and I was going to succeed!

 As I started to lose weight, I discovered more reasons why this was important and something I had to do. I would read startling health statistics about obesity and did not want to be a statistic. I had so much left to do in life and could not be slowed down by high blood pressure, diabetes, or any other disease that was a result of my poor health. I wanted to be around for my family; to take care of them and I had to be healthy to do this.

 Everyone’s why is different. There is no right or wrong reason as to why you want to be healthier. This journey is personal. Your reason may change along the way, but your end goal should remain the same.

I encourage you to write down your why. Many times visually seeing something reinforces it and further motivates us to reach that end goal. You may even choose to create a vision board with encouraging phrases. Some people like posting a picture of themselves on their refrigerator as motivation. I recall buying an expensive pair of jeans that I could not fit when I purchased them. But I told myself I wanted to one day fit into them comfortably. After remaining consistent and focusing on my why, they became too big and I had to donate them. Whatever it takes to help you visualize your success, I encourage you to do it. Consistency is key to achieving results.

Even after losing weight, I still have to have a why. Why do I continue to eat healthy and workout? Well, because I don’t want to return to the person I was. Knowing my why helps to keep me on track and maintain my weight loss. Why? Because I want to inspire others and share what I’ve learned along the way. What I experienced may encourage someone else who thinks this journey is not possible. Some people think it takes super-human strength to lose weight and it does not. Yes, losing weight will be one of the most challenging things you will ever do; but it will also be one of the most rewarding endeavors you will take if you see it through! Anyone can be successful at weight loss. All it takes is a made-up mind, determination, and consistency!

 What is your why?