Friday, October 16, 2015

Edges Snatched? Here's how to grow them back!

source: Google Images
Lately, I cannot seem to get away from women commenting about other womens' hairline. It's quite annoying because *leans in* NOT EVERYONE HAS A THICK HAIRLINE!!!
When lace fronts were really popular around 2006-08, people were learning to "thin hairlines" on their wigs so that they resembled a natural hairline. I was born with a thick hairline, but it came with the 4 Z very coiled, wig like hair. I hated it, and thinned it as much as possible. If I didn't my hairline would blend into my eyebrows. I was thinking about my hairline the other day and wondered how many people think I have a love lorn possum or wig on my head. It's so thick it sometimes feels like I look like those cut outs at theme parks that you put your face in the whole and take a photo as someone else. Like a painting of Popeye and Olive Oil, but if you put your face in the hole it's you as the caricature. I walk around like that 24/7 so I have been looking into laser hair removal. It's expensive, but I'm so insecure because of the rise in sensitivity towards the care and density of women's hairline.
I understand the discussion about the supermodel with a balding hairline and I sympathize because her photos are splattered on social media, unlike when they used to put the black rectangle to hide the identity of the fashion, hair or whatever faux pas victim we just put people on blast.
There are things that can be done to regrow the hairline but if it's not in one's genetics, you're most likely buying snake oil.
Here are a few things that don't work. I would go so far as to say these are things that may be exacerbating the problem.
  1. Stop laying your edges! I know that it's the in thing to do, but why are all my naturals trying to have smooth relaxed looking edges? You see women tying their hair down to the point they cut the circulation. Leave them alone, stop putting products, brushing, and tying them down.
  2. Baby hair! We are bringing back 2009, and obsessed with baby hair again. I know of a few women who relax their edges to get the baby hair but how can you have baby hair and thick hairlines? 
  3. Stop the braids! You need to ease up on the braids, this is called traction alopecia. If you must wear a protective style, then get a wig or wear a turban or wrap long enough to allow the circulation or you may cause follicular damage to your hairline and that's not easy to undo.
There are some things that are easy, inexpensive and will help to recharge your hairline and, with patience, a few suggestions, you can have a thicker hairline by next season.

  1.  Massage your scalp! Scalp massage will stimulate circulation and help the blood flow back in the areas that were obstructed. You can do this in the evening prior to going to bed and if you can't find or afford a massager, use your hands. I've known some people to get success buy putting their head down and massaging whilst upside down.
  2. Massage Oils! Tea tree oil is said to be good if you have any follicular damage, infections, or scalp issues; however, there are oils that stimulate circulation such as cinnamon, pumpkin, avocado and other oils. Do research oils for hair growth/stimulation and understand it's trial and error so what works for some may not work the same for you.
  3. See a dermatologist or trichologist. There's nothing worse than trying to fix something that is broken. It's like when someone has a headache and they take aspirin only to find out they have migraines, or other serious head trauma. It's wise to see a specialist rather than play doctor. I cannot stress that enough! All the tips and tricks won't work if there is a serious underlying issue.
  4. Get a full check up! Have some tests run. I am severely anemic and require iron transfusions and medical shots because supplements don't work for my levels. You may have an hormone imbalance or something that causes your hair to fall. In addition, you can catch any illness early on if you choose to have a check up, and your body and mind will thank you.
  5. Hydration and silk. Water, water and more water. If you drink coffee, you're depleting your body of water, so for every cup of coffee have two waters or double the amount of water to whatever diuretic such as beer, alcohol etc. Protect your hair with silk as you replenish your body with water.
The process may seem  futile and there will be days that seem hopeless, but the construction and rebuilding of any foundation should be strong, sturdy and short of quick fixes. You can go the Minoxidil or Nioxin route, or take supplements like B Complex, Biotin, or whatever vitamin cocktail popular on the hair forums, but you will still need to modify your current habits to preserve any repair/regrowth.

Please let me know how you get on, this is something I am quite passionate about. For centuries black women have been lead to believe our hair was inferior, nappy and won't grow; we've been fed a lot of fallacies, but our hair grows, it has various densities, curl patterns and growth rates, but it's good and when taken care of, it's beautiful!


Sunday, July 26, 2015

Social Media Makeup Artists

There's nothing worse than when I get clients that have been given misguided information and it results in their face looking like they let a child colour on their face. We'll call her Jane Q. Citizen. Jane comes to me with her makeup done stating she wants to look "more polished." I often ask clients to bring a photo that captures the look (not the model) they're going for. For instance, is polished, natural as in little make up or clean as is minimal but bold blips? "Like this girl" she says pointing to a well known Instagram makeup poster. "Huh.... so you want to look like you're wearing makeup?" She looks perplexed so she shows the video that she followed to obtain the look she's currently wearing. As we watch, I hand her a makeup wipe to remove the Spackle so we can start fresh faced.
I ask her if she brought her products which she did and we start. What people say isn't always what we hear. Jane didn't realise that many terms aren't synonymous. For instance, if you are concealing something, you never get a shade two lighter than your own complexion. You want your complexion and depending on what you are concealing you will have a peach tint if it's a dark spot. The only time you want to get any foundation that is lighter than your skin tone is to HIGHLIGHT!!!! Most people walking around don't need a highlight. If you want your features to stand out, you can play them up but you don't need a highlight to accent your eyes, lips or any feature. Great brows? Leave them alone a la Cara Delivigne. Nice Lips? Exfoliate and moisturise and experiment with lip colours. Nice eyes? Mascara! Nice eyes, no lashes, demi lashes and a kitten flick!
I understand the trends but they are simply that. Trends! The only time contouring and highlighting makes much difference is in photographs or low lights. Having dinner with someone special? Of course the highlight will look major when it's reflecting from candle or dim lights. Taking a head shot? Highlight will look like the sun just kissed you there, but if you don't know what you're doing, you're going to have a face full of streaks.
Take what they say online like you would a rumour. There may be truth to it, but don't count it as fact or a scholarly source depending on the person. There are a lot of things like, "clean up my brow" or "conceal my eye bags with a concealer two shades lighter than my face" You clean your brows when you pluck the hair that's stray or you conceal your bags by using a salmon based concealer and then applying your regular foundation. When a person says anything and it ends with "like a pro" don't be fooled. All the "pros" do things differently and it's based on skin tone, texture, elasticity and purpose. You can watch "How to get a flawless face" all day every day but no one has a flawless face, so if you want a one dimensional face with no textures or tone, be my guest.
Just because people have a large following, does not mean they have what it takes to make you look your best. They don't know your skin, your undertones, your trouble spots so the most they can do is give general direction.
Jane and I spent a long time working on her look. Not because she was in need, I rarely advocate the need for makeup as opposed to the love for experiment. It's not good or healthy to feel one needs makeup to be attractive. Jane simply needed to learn about her face so she could have more knowledge when selecting products to enhance her natural features. Cool undertones with warm makeup shades can make her look dirty. Her hair is too warm for the pink in her porcelain skin so that's the beauty of makeup. You experiment, and by that you learn. What didn't work today, a few tweaks and tomorrow she can wear that colour but effortless is always the goal.
If you have beauty questions, aren't sure about a product, drop me a line, I love to help!!


Monday, July 20, 2015

Back to Basics

The beauty world didn't seem fun. I went from a starving student, a working professional, and now just starving.
I used to love coming home and wasting time watching people enjoy the same things I enjoyed on YouTube. Makeup, fashion, hair, dating the whole lot. Then things changed. It wasn't just money and sponsorship but a lot of information I didn't want to know but partook in.
It was tempting to get gossip from forums about social media personalities. But now it's making looking and feeling good a source of negative.
Back to just having fun, making mistakes and living.