Titi Branch, Co-Owner of Miss Jessie’s, Passes Away

titibranchWhether you are a fan of Miss Jessie’s products or not, there is no debate that the company is a pioneer in the natural hair movement. I first discovered natural hair products and decided to stop relaxing my hair when a friend told me about Miss Jessie’s products and praised the Curly Pudding for enhancing her curl.

Last night, one of my curlfriends shared a video with me that was a compilation of pictures of Titi Branch in memory, titled “My Titi,” and now the validity of the video’s content has been confirmed. It brought me great sadness to learn that Titi passed away earlier this month, apparently as a result of suicide. She was only 45 years old.

Miko Branch (Titi’s co-owner and sister) and the official Miss Jessie’s Twitter accounts also posted tweets in her memory.

Since I posted the video last night, some of my viewers have shared their own stories of depression and suicide. If you are hurting, please do not hesitate to speak with someone. You may feel alone, but I promise you, you are not alone. Often in the black community, therapy is seen as something “for white people” or we are ashamed to seek help. Seeking help is not a sign of weakness, but one of strength. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or chat with a counselor online at http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/. Please take care of yourselves. My thoughts are with the Branch family – losing a family member to suicide is one of the most painful things imaginable.

Be well. xoxo

3 Hair Accessories You Can Easily Rock With Thick Natural Hair

We often see hair vitamins and treatments that claim to increase hair thickness, but sometimes, thick hair isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I can’t tell you how many headbands, combs and brushes my hair has broken. I tried a HairZing and it was an absolute disaster (seriously, I almost had to cut it out of my hair) and other decorative combs are pointless for styling. I have a vintage-style headwrap that I love, that I also can’t fit over my hair. It’s kind of a bummer to see so many pretty hair accessories that simply don’t work for your hair. Fear not, my thick-haired sisters, these accessories can handle our manes. Check ‘em out!

Bun Pins

bun pin2_natural hair

Bun pins are my absolute latest obsession. These nifty little decorations are meant to be placed in the front of your buns, kind of like a crown, but so not a crown. They’re a great way to dress up an updo for a night out (no boring buns here) or pick one that’s not as glitzy for a more casual look. Bonus – if your hair is thick enough, the comb will totally stay in your hair even without a bun.

Hair Sticks

hair stick_natural hair

When I got my first set of hair sticks as a gift, I doubted the ability of a little, 2-prong stick to hold my hair up. But hey, when I’m wrong, I’m wrong. These have become a staple in my hair styling routine, especially when I need to work out and don’t want to ruin my wash and go with dents from elastics. If you want to get fancy with it, check out online tutorials for cool ways to style your sticks. I personally stick to buns and rolls because I’m style challenged.

Bonus: hair sticks can also help stretch your wash and go (it’s totally my pet peeve when I get back from the gym, but hey, stretched hair is way better than dented hair).

Metal Headbands & Hair Chains

LuvAJ Headband

My biggest issue with headbands is that I always break them because my hair is big. Metal headbands seem kind of scary at first, but they’re a lot sturdier than regular headbands and you can’t stretch them out. Hair chains are also awesome because all you need to do is clip them in your hair and BAM! Instaglam.

So where do you find all these fun accessories? My fave sites to add some pizzazz to my hair are ASOS, Crystal Mood (for hair sticks), Kitsch (for bun pins), and Luv AJ. And remember, you definitely don’t need to have thick hair to wear these accessories.

Do you have any favorite hair accessories?

Note: In some of the comments to this post, it seems that some people are upset about the prices of some of these products – these are simply examples, you do not have to buy these specific items linked and I have seen several that are less expensive. But, I did post links to my favorites, so if you are interested in me doing a post on “Lux Hair Accessories on a Budget” leave me a comment and I’ll be happy to do one. Also, I frequently post random beauty finds on my Facebook page (and have posted some other accessories on there, partly why I didn’t re-post them in my article), so check ‘em out in the pic section! xoxo

This post also appears on Black Girl with Long Hair.

How Focusing On Hair Porosity This Winter Can Lead to Healthier Longer Hair

hairporosity

When I began researching natural hair porosity, it was like glitter rained down from the sky and I truly began to figure out my hair. I found focusing on porosity to be much more helpful than relying on curl pattern. For those of you unfamiliar, porosity is how well your hair absorbs and holds onto moisture. For additional information, check out my video about natural hair and porosity:

As the seasons change, you might need to make some changes to your regimen due to lower temperatures and dew points. Low porosity hair often has trouble absorbing moisture, while high porosity hair has issues retaining moisture. This may become even more of an issue when it gets cold and dry outside. Modification of your hair regimen should typically depend on your local climate. For instance, in Los Angeles, I never really had an issue or needed to re-assess my regimen for my porosity because the weather is pretty mild year-round. But on the East Coast, the quickly falling temps (Seriously, 50 degrees in October? Sigh.) make some regimen tweaks necessary.

If you have low porosity hair, it might be best to focus on thoroughly moisturizing your hair as you won’t get as much moisture from the environment. Consider using a steamer during your deep conditioning treatments for about 30 minutes a week. The steam will slightly lift your hair cuticle and allow your deep conditioner to penetrate more into your strands. There are also several additional claims of the awesome benefits of steaming, so why not give it a go? If you don’t feel like sitting under a steamer for 30 minutes, you can also use a Q-Redew, a handheld tool that releases bursts of steam. I know I’ll be breaking mine out. If tools aren’t your thing at all, consider a Cherry Lola treatment to increase moisture absorption. Every time I do this treatment, my conditioner turns my hair into butter. And don’t forget the dryer! As low porosity hair takes forever and a day to dry, you might want to invest in a dryer so your hair doesn’t turn into popsicles when you go outside. I love my Babyliss Hooded Dryer.

qredewbabyliss

If you have high porosity hair, it might be helpful to increase your use of oils to help seal in moisture. Oil rinsing is a good option, as all of the oil doesn’t wash out of your hair after rinsing, therefore adding another layer of protection. For high porosity hair, it seems that this would be effective after your deep condition, because you’ve just moisturized your hair. After you style, always use an oil/butter or heavy moisturizer. I recently offered up my favorite heavy moisturizers for sealing in this post. It can also be helpful to use leave-ins and stylers with more oils, like Oyin Hair Dew. Just remember to also cleanse your hair properly if you’re increasing your oil use

Have you tweaked your regimen for the colder temps yet? What are your hair plans for winter?

**This post also appears on Black Girl with Long Hair.**