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News – Page 5 – All Things O'Natural

MANNERS..RESPECT..HONOR..THE SACRIFICE IS SO WORTH IT

By Dominique Harris
on January 08, 2015
With 0 comments

MANNERS...RESPECT...BLESSINGS..THE SACRIFICE IS SO WORTH IT

My oldest son was out shopping with my mother and in the midst of their outing my mother called me on the phone to say:

Mom: "I just wanted to tell you that I'm so happy right now and this lady just made my day."

Me: "What's going on?"

Mom: "This lady at the store stopped me and wanted to give Christian the utmost praise and said that he is the most manner-able respectful young man she has ever met. She said how rare it is to see young children exude such manners and respect and she wish she could know the man he is to become because she know he is going to become someone great. She said she didn't have much on her but wanted to give him something so she gave him money and carried on with telling Christian how proud she is of him and to tell his parents they are doing a great job with him!"

THAT..made my day! And my mom was on cloud 1000.. And I just had to say that no matter how much manners may be lacking in today's society or how many looks of astonishment we receive when our children say 'yes ma'am' or 'yes sir' or 'no thank you' or 'yes please' or 'may I please have', the duty of making honor, respect and manners is well worth the diligence it takes. Many think being parents who operate a business and home-school our children is easy. Having worked a job since I was 16, I must say owning a business is the most challenging occupation, but well worth it. Homeschooling our children, despite naysayers have their doubts and opinions of ignorance about children who are home schooled (believe me, we've heard it all), or may think our children are 'different' because they have manners or are artsy or haven't heard nor even know who 99% of the musicians on main stream radio are who blare out lyrics that are way beyond what children should listen to...is well worth the sacrifice of peer pressure, assimilation and misguided habits of some children who may not be so well trained at home. And of course, there are a plethora of children who are in school who exude the very best of the things I speak of and my step daughter is one of them...She kills the manners game and is extremely respectful, helpful and honorable.

I say sacrifice because homeschooling, which means one of us is home with our 4 children all day..everyday,and if you have kids, you KNOW that's work, patience, tolerance, temper control, therapy, etc..etc..etc.
Even when manners lack among even adults,and it seems like a lost art of respect, it makes everything my husband and I do so worth it. More than good grades or the latest gadget or toy or high priced clothing item that they'll just tear up in the end...Honor, Manners, Respect are what brings my husband and I joy. With understanding that we are responsible for lives and souls until we are no longer allowed that privilege, we strive to make the most of it, even through allllll of our mistakes. How we raise them can have a major impact on how they deal with self and others and it's so important as we see that many many many people, including self, struggle with breaking chains of brokenness experienced during childhood. We're not perfect parents, but that one thing, that one expression from the lady at the store, helped us to see that our efforts and our vision and dedication are working in at least one area. So, I'm a happy mommy and my husband is a happy daddy and together we are a blessed union..mistakes, flaws and all.
As always, wishing everyone peace, joy and positivity in their lives.
Feel free to share positive feedback of your little ones, I love to read them!

THE DEMOCRACY OF HYPOCRISY

By Dominique Harris
on January 07, 2015
With 1 comments

THE DEMOCRACY OF HYPOCRISY..

When we think about hypocrisy, our first thoughts are usually in thought of someone else's mishaps. We, many times, fail to look at self and our own hypocritical thoughts, words and actions. We, many times, fail to realize how we teach our children acts of hypocrisy by the things we say or do in their presence, yet become upset if they, in turn, do the same thing...We, many times, fail to look at self because we don't want to think of ourselves as hypocrites, liars or any of the sort. We have accepted a society where views of lying has become acceptable..ok..not so bad,,something we must do to prove a point..to deceive..etc.

Children are taught how to deceive, manipulate and lie at very young ages, and many times, we fail to stop and think how our actions as their parents or guardians have promoted this.
Example: 'Ok, we're gonna say you're 4, even though you're 6, so you can get in free'...yet become irate when a child of ours is caught, well ya know..lying.You see, the beautiful innocence of children is that they are born bearing truth..speaking truth and are 'taught' to do otherwise through example and action.

Example: 'Man, that guy/girl gets on my nerves..I can't stand that person' Then the person of despise walks up and kids see parent/parents say this, 'Hey, So and So, it's great to see you. We should have lunch sometime and catch up..or come by the house!' ...at that moment, a child has been taught the wonderful virtue of deception and hypocrisy. These things have made my husband and I extremely mindful of what we say and how we act or react while our children are around. We have a disagreement, we 'resolve' it amicably. We understand that they will see a disagreement,but it's how we handle, resolve and make peace that shows them how to have conflict and resolve conflict.

Many times, we can become easily offended by feelings of being judged, yet we forget how easily we judge the words or actions of others,even if only watching TV (ie..reality shows)..The democracy of hypocrisy. We are appalled when someone is rude to us, yet we justify when we are rude to others. We are appalled when others are less tolerant to us, yet we exude impatience and lack of tolerance to whom we deem 'deserves' it...in our minds..The democracy of hypocrisy.

People, especially women, are judged and called out of their names if we view they have just, 'way too many' sex partners..you know the word..begins with an H..Yet, let's be honest, any of us who have had relations outside of a covenant,well ya know. Whether 1 or 1000, if it's outside of a covenant...The democracy of hypocrisy.

'Shoot it to me straight, now'...we say we love truth and honesty, yet many times, families are broken apart, friendships lost, co workers at odds due to honest, truth conversations. Truth in families can rip a hole in the core larger than the an asteroid crashing to earth. Truth brings up pain. Truth busts open the misconception that we've been telling self, that we're ok. Truth makes you open wounds and begin the process of healing infection (remember my post on healing?) Yet, many do not want to face that battle of operation of exposing the wound to cleanse out the infection.
The democracy of hypocrisy.

The very problem with race and race relations is that we deceive self into thinking we are not prejudice (prejudging others based on things we've heard, read, experienced,felt, etc). We seduce our minds into thinking, 'I'm not like that', yet fail to step outside of a comfort zone to 'empathize' with others from other cultures..Or get to know a person based on the most basic 'animalistic' surface thing, skin complexion. Unfortunately, this demon visits us of all hues, all cultures, all ethnicities. We 'assume' we know what we truly don't know and will not know because our hypocritical mind or judgement from others won't allow it, failing to see that you may just have a ton in common with someone you never thought you may have something in common with. Or, you may just learn a lot about the brokenness from a group of people that you wouldn't have known otherwise. The democracy of hypocrisy.

Truth, honesty, loyalty, integrity, compassion have been replaced with hypocritical acts of deceit, manipulation, lack of integrity, acceptance in telling ourselves, 'that's just the way it is' but shouting 'amen' on Saturday or Sunday when the Word has told us a different truth.

No, we who walk this earth, may never reach a level of perfection...but each day we wake AND we breath, we have another day to strive to correct stinking thinking...deceitful actions...resolve issues...speak truth 'out of love'...heal wounds...forgive someone..exude compassion...get to know someone outside of our comfort zone..move forward. Each day we wake, we have the power to debunk 'THE DEMOCRACY OF HYPOCRISY'. One thought, by one person speaking to SELF first...

THE BENEFITS OF HERBAL STEAMS

By Dominique Harris
on November 08, 2014
With 4 comments

Ahh, the beauty of steaming!

One of the pleasures that are offered at luxury spas worldwide..but, hey, who says you have to wait until your next spa day to enjoy the benefits of steaming. 

On a relaxing weekend, this is one of the luxuries I absolutely LOVE to do. I blend together an amazing combo of botanicals and a dash of organic essential oils to enjoy. I also love to put some sample steam tins together for friends who appreciate the beauty of steaming. 

 

BENEFITS

  1. Besides being amazingly relaxing, facial steams are beneficial for mental health, relieving stress, especially when using certain botanical flowers and herbs that focus on mental clarity, such as fresh rosemary and lavender.

  2. It's a wonderful step in a facial regimen for great skin health. Using botanical herbs such as Neem, Stinging Nettle and Calendula, Cornflower, Marshmallow Root, Helichrysum to name a few, are absolutely amazing for deep down pore purification, hydrating the cells and maintaining healthy skin. 

  3. The warm humidity from the steam helps to increase blood circulation as well as increases perspiration, which helps rid the body of toxins. 

  4. Clearing up the skin...The steam from the facial steam helps to soften blackhead and white head plugs so they gently and easily release from follicle openings. The buildup of sebum inside of the follicle can then flow naturally.

  5. Gives skin a fresher and younger appearance.

HOW I ENJOY MY HERBAL  STEAM?

  1. On a freshly cleansed face and after an exfoliation such as a facial scrub (if this is part of your regimen), add a couple of tablespoons of your botanical herb blend into a heat safe container..I used a stainless steel bowl 

2. Cover herbs with boiled water and allow to cool for only a few minutes (to prevent any type of steam burn). Then place a towel over your head to create a steam tent.  

3. Breathe deeply, relax and enjoy the steam for  5-15 minutes. I usually take this time to release, relax and unwind. This is also the perfect time that I love to focus on gratitude and allow thoughts of pure positivity to enter my mind. Once the steam is over, strain the remaining herbal blend and add the liquid tea to your bath for even more health benefits. 

 

EXTRAS...

You can also add a few scoops of your herbal steam to your tub or add to a tea bag for an amazingly beneficial herbal and botanical bath.  When we bathe, our pores dilate..this is super helpful with infusing our bodies with beneficial minerals, vitamins and nutrients that may be depleted from our foods. Herbal baths are also great for lady parts as many of the herbs used are beneficial for a healthy vaginal pH.

 

FACIAL STEAMING BY SKIN CONDITION

NORMAL : Every other week to once a week for 10 minutes

OILY : Two times per week at 5-10 minutes at a time

ACNE PRONE : Two times per week at 5 minutes at a time

DRY : Every other week for 10 minutes at a time

SENSITIVE : Once per month at 5 minutes at a time

 

 

Natural is more than just allowing appreciation for our hair to grow as it was intended..it's about getting back to the basics of understanding what we put, not only on our hair, but in our bodies and on our skin. Understanding that many of the chemicals, synthetically produced, can be major culprits of stress, anger, and other emotional damages that affect us daily. With life having so much going on, it's imperative to find that beautiful balance of taking, if only, a few moments to relax and release. Nature is a beautiful basic. Ingredients nor food should be so complicated. Let's get back to the basics of nature. The basics of understanding that essential oils not only have therapeutic benefits, but smell amazing, which in turn enhances our mood.  

Be sure to check out all the goodness of our HERBAL STEAMS 

 

DANDRUFF AND SCALP ISSUES....LET'S TALK ABOUT IT

By Dominique Harris
on November 06, 2014
With 1 comments

(ORIGINAL POST: JULY 2011)

Greetings Chicas/Chicos..I pray all is well with everyone.

So, this is going to be a bit of important reading. But, I felt this needed to be touched upon because unfortunately so many women, men and children suffer from some form of scalp issue or Dermatitis. And I have received many emails in regards to what to do about it..naturally. I mean, let's be honest, we all love our hair, skin and insides and it bothers us if we are ambushed with issues that affect any of these. So, although I don't struggle with any form of Dermatitis, I feel extremely empathetic and would like to try to shed some light as to how to attempt to manage it and feel happy with ourselves naturally.

Having a mother and niece who suffered with Seborrhic Dermatitis, it was especially important to seek natural methods that would help. After my mother and niece began using our Natty products, she has not had any flare ups..Well, this came about about 3 years ago when I cleared out her bathroom linen closet of all products that contained questionable ingredients. I recently spoke with her to check on how her and my niece's scalp were doing and she said it's been so long since they've had any issues that she doesn't believe the condition exist any longer. Just what do they use? Well, I'll include their regimen at the end of the read. As always, each person may vary and I hope this can help even a tad bit for those who do struggle with the condition. 

So, what exactly is DERMATITIS?


Dermatitis is a basic term for any type of inflammation of the skin. The cause is not fully understood and there are so many forums that post information that may or may not be accurate. Some of the known causes of internal dandruff can be: poor diet, allergies, dairy products, hormone imbalance and/or stress to name a few. External dandruff can be caused by harsh ingredients such as synthetic colorants, product buildup, poor hygiene, weather changes and dry environmental conditions, similar to eczema. There are a few types of Dandruff.


Types of DANDRUFF..

  • Dry Scalp: Itchy white round flakes on a dry scalp environment

  • Seborrheic Dermatitis: Usually an oily scalp that have large white to yellowish colored flakes and can create sores and bleed.

  • Fungal Dandruff: Oily yellowish and white flakes with crusting and redness (similar in appearance to seborrheic dermatitis)

  • Psoriasis: Dry, silver colored scaly flakes

DERMATITIS VS. ECZEMA


The distinction between the use of dermatitis and eczema to describe skin disorders can be confusing. Many people use the term 'eczema' to refer specifically to Atopic Dermatitis.  Eczema is the inflammation of the skin that accompanies dermatitis produces scaling, flaking, thickening, weeping, crusting, color changes and often itching.



So..What Causes DERMATITIS??

  • Allergies/Irritants: Many cases of Dermatitis are simply the result of allergies (Allergic or Contact Dermatitis).

                1. perfumes
                2. cosmetics
                3. rubber
                4. medicated creams/ointments
                5. latex
                6. poison ivy
                7. metals or metal alloys such as gold, silver and nickel in jewelry and zippers
                8. sunlight (many people with dermatitis are sensitive to sunlight)

  • Atopic Dermatitis: (eczema or infantile eczema, found in children)

This type of Dermatitis is a condition known to affect allergy prone individuals. It typically appears on the face, in the bends of elbows and behind the knees and is very itchy. If other family members have histories of hay fever, asthma, or atopic dermatitis, it is more likely that a child will be diagnosed with atopic dermatitis.


                Triggers of this may be:
                  1. cold or hot weather
                  2. dry atmosphere
                  3. allergen exposures
                  4. stress
                  5. Infections, such as colds

  • Nummular Dermatitis:

 This type of Dermatitis is coin shaped. It is a chronic condition in which round, scaling lesions appear on the limbs (arms, legs, etc) or scalp, face and chest (seborrhea).
                 Triggers of this may be:
                   1. Allergy to nickel (often associated with dry skin)
                   2. Intestinal and immune disorders (dermatitis herpetiformis). Very itchy form of dermatitis.
                   3. Dairy and/or Gluten products

  • Seborrhea: Characterized by scaly patches of skin that result from a disorder of the sebaceous (oil producing) glands. Most often occurs on the scalp, face and chest, but can appear on other parts of the body. It may or may not be itchy. Usually yellowish and/or greasy or dry and flaky. This form is most common is infancy (cradle cap) and middle age. The exact cause is not known, but may be linked to nutritional deficiencies (especially a lack of biotin and Vitamin A) or the effects of a yeast organism which normally lives in the hair follicles. Heredity and climate can also play a role. Adult Seborrheic dermatitis is often associated with stress and anxiety. Other factors: infrequent shampooing or cleansing, oily skin, obesity, Parkinson's Disease and psoriasis.

  • Also, a very important factor that I've witnessed is the placing of oils on the scalp and leaving them on the scalp. Now, oils are great, especially natural oils that nourish the scalp, however, due to the fact that our scalp produces its own natural sebum can pose a problem when we add additional oil to the scalp. It's like telling the scalp, 'no need to produce oil, I'll just add my own oil'..which in turn can create a malfunction aiding in the prevention of sebum production and clogging of the pores on the scalp. When the scalp does not perform properly, this can lead to issues such as Dry Scalp, Itchy Scalp, Dermatitis and other fungal infections. Oil Treatments can be one way to apply oils to the scalp..BUT, they are shampooed out after about 20-30 minutes or so. The oils have enough time to nourish, yet not clog the pores. It's specifically a treatment. Whenever I have spoken with people who have suffered scalp issues, they would mention that they apply and leave oils on the scalp often. If possible, try to keep the scalp as clear and clean as possible. Another factor to consider is when rinsing using tap water, we must remember, unless we have a filter, tap water contains loads of bacteria, fungi and other contaminants including mineral deposit, that can wreak havoc on the scalp. The use of Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (Bragg's is a great brand) in the form of a rinse or a mist, is helpful due to the vinegars astringent properties and the low acidity helps remove mineral deposit from the scalp as well as serve as a form of protection against bacteria, fungi and other contaminants. 

Herbs That Have Been Known To Help DERMATITIS..

  • Blackthorn, blueberry leaf, hawthorne berry and rue (contains flavanoids that are excellent for reducing inflammation.

  • Chamomile (can be taken internally or used to soothe the skin. Reduces inflammation)

  • Dandelion, Yellow Dock Root, Chaparral can be combined and made into a poultice or paste

  • Dandelion, Goldenseal, Myrrh, Pau d' Arco and Red Clover can be combined to make a tea (don't take Goldenseal on a daily basis for more than one week at a time..do not use during pregnancy)

  • Goldenseal Root Powder and Vitamin E and add a little honey until it is the consistency of a loose paste. Apply to affected area to relieve itching and promote healing.

  • Gotu Kola

  • Grapeseed Extract

  • Oregon Grape Root (detoxifies the body and reduces inflammation)

  • Wild Pansy (excellent for psoriasis, acne, eczema and cradle cap in infants)

  • Colloidal Silver is a natural antibiotic that has been known to fight seborrhea

  • Neem (excellent for psoriasis, eczema, cradle cap and dermatitis)

  • Tea Tree oil

  • Rosemary CO2 Extract

  • Cypress Essential OIl

  • Evening Primrose Oil

 What to eat..What to avoid eating..What to Use for DERMATITIS.. If possible, try to avoid as much as possible

  • Avoid eggs, peanuts, soy foods, wheat and dairy products

  • Avoid sugar, strawberries, chocolate, white flour, fats, fried foods and processed foods

  • Try a gluten free diet for 6 weeks, then add back into diet one at a time and see if the condition changes..(Gluten free foods will specifically say 'Gluten Free')

  • Try not to eat foods containing raw eggs (which contain avidin, a protein that binds to biotin and prevents it from being absorbed) Biotin is needed for skin and scalp disorders.

  • Keep your house humidified and keep skin hydrated

  • For seborrhic dermatitis: Make a strong concentrated tea of Rosemary, Comfrey, Neem, Tea Tree Oil (add this once tea is made), Dried Nettles and Witch Hazel, and apply it to the scalp after shampooing  with a fragrance free cleanser. Leave it on the scalp for 10 or 15 minutes. Rinse

  • Massage Tea Tree Oil mixed with a carrier oil (Jojoba, Argan, Grapeseed, etc) after contact with water or irritants

  • Keep the colon clean. Use fiber supplements such as flaxseed, psyllium husk or Aerobic Bulk Cleanse

  • Evening Primrose Oil and Vitamin B6 have been known to help.

  • Emu Oil 

  • Try to change to hair products without chemicals: Ayurvedic shampoo bars are excellent, or all natural cleansers

  • Try to avoid over the counter ointments, this can cause an overload on the skin

  • Also, due to the increase of hormones pumped into various meats, try to look for hormone free organic free range meats

  • Follow a fasting program once per month ( I love the Master Cleansewww.themastercleanse.com )

  • Ingredient knowledge should be your new best friend. Look for products with as many organic natural ingredients that aid in minimizing dermatitis. Steer clear of products, even ones that label themselves as 'natural' that scent using synthetic fragrances. Synthetic fragrances usually contains over hundreds of unknown chemicals that can be damaging and cause scalp flare ups. Fragrance free or products scented using essential oils and/or hydrosols are great, though they may be a tad bit more pricey.

MY MOTHER AND NIECE'S REGIMEN FOR HEALTHY SCALP

 

My Beautiful Mom and Niece ( I can't believe she's 17!!)

 


Whew, I know that was a lot, but again, it is a serious subject and it's better to equip yourselves with as much knowledge as possible.

Note: I am not a doctor, nor am I in the medical profession so before any treatment recommended,  if you have questions or concerns about possible dermatitis, please consult a homeopath, naturopath or other knowledgeable medical professional. 

SHEDDING VS. BREAKAGE..WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?

By Dominique Harris
on October 28, 2014
With 4 comments

 

 Greetings, All,

So, this is a great topic mainly because I have had a plethora of natural lovelies inquire about their hair shedding and the assumption that natural hair does not shed..WRONG..I can attest by personal experience because I shed like a St. Bernard whenever I wash my hair..and that's no lye :-)))

 

Understanding the difference between hair breakage and shedding is an important part of any healthy hair regimen. Many people use these terms interchangeably to refer to any hair that falls from the head; however, this misinformed language can be a recipe for hair disaster. You must be able to properly differentiate between these two very specific forms of hair "loss" in order to effectively address even the smallest of your hair needs. This post will educate us on the difference between hair shedding and hair breakage, and offer strategies to help you combat both hair problems.

 

 

Just What Is Shedding??

 

  • In its truest sense, shed hair is hair that has reached the end of its growing cycle and naturally falls from the scalp along with its tiny, white "root" attached. 

  • This is not the actual hair root that is secured deeply within your scalp, but it is the bulb root or base of the hair strand found on the scalp-originating end. 

  • It appears white because the hair stops producing melanin (color) at the point in its growth cycle right before it gets ready to fall. 

  • If your actual hair root came out along with the hair, you would no longer be able to produce hair from that same place on the scalp ever again! 

  • If a hair does not possess this white root bulb, then it is not a naturally shed hair, rather, a broken one. Shed hair tends to be longer in length than broken hairs which are generally short pieces of varying lengths.

  • In general, shedding should not be a major concern for you and should be seen as a sign of a healthy, normal, functioning scalp. There is no need to fear shedding unless it is tied to a medical issue. If you notice rapid hair loss from shedding or hair loss accompanied by a host of other problems, please consult a medical professional. Most shedding, however, is simply nature taking its course.

 

Shedding..Did You Know

  • It's important to understand that because shedding is a natural, internal process, it may not respond to topical, external treatments. Some have praised garlic shampoos or "garlic scalp rubs" for reducing shedding, but there has been no clear consensus on the effectiveness of garlic as a remedy for shedding. Shedding is also not easily solved by protein or moisture treatments because it has nothing to do with the hair shaft itself, but is a response to hormonal influences on the hair follicle and is dependent on growth cycles. When a hair completes its life cycle, which generally last s 4-6 years, its final act is the shedding we experience. This cannot be prevented.

 

  • Also, our hair naturally cycles in and out of seasonal shedding phases which may last days or weeks at a time in some individuals. Research suggests that peak shedding rates occur during the fall season. A healthy head of hair may shed as many as 50- 100 hairs per day. So, if you're like me and only detangle once per week or only a couple times per week, you will see more shed hairs on the day you do, in fact, detangle your hair due to the normal accumulation that would have occurred daily. Normal shedding is inevitable and cannot be avoided. It's the ending life cycle of the hair. You should be concerned if your shedding suddenly increases to a rate that was uncommon to you before, or if the shedding seems to be prolonged over the course of several weeks or months.

 

  • Do keep in mind that there are special periods in the human life cycle where shedding is naturally increased. For example, women who are undergoing a bout of postpartum shedding after having a baby may have to deal with increased shedding for several months until their normal hormone levels return. Other conditions which may increase your shedding rate are

  • styling methods that place stress on the follicles

  • birth control/menstrual cycles/menopause

  • pregnancy

  • heredity (runs in the family)

  • crash dieting/ low protein diets, poor diet

  • illnesses with high fever as a prevailing symptom

Please consult with a medical professional to diagnose any prolonged, abnormal shedding or other unusual scalp conditions.

 

 Sooo..What is Breakage??

 

  • Breakage on the other hand is not natural, and is an indication of an imbalance of important forces within the hair strand. 

  • Broken hairs do not fall naturally from the head, but are typically a sign of mishandling or abuse. In the stages before a hair ultimately breaks, the hair first becomes discolored and experiences cuticle loss. Eventually, the fibers begin to split and ultimately there is breakage. 

 

Breakage..Did You Know??

  • So what causes breakage? Hair can be weakened and damaged by anything from rough handing and sun exposure to coloring and straightening chemicals. 

  • Breakage is also more common with a hair's age; older hairs, usually the hairs nearest the ends, have the greatest tendency to break due to normal wear and tear. 

  • When breakage isn't a response to physical manipulation and abuse, it is most often triggered by the lack of moisture in the hair strand. 

  • Other types of breakage may be caused by the over- structuring of the hair strand with protein treatments done in excess. 

  • A prompt, and proper response to breakage will help you stop breakage in its tracks. 

 

Breakage..Ways To Minimize It

  • Moisture: Hair needs water to maintain its elasticity, or ability to stretch. Since water is the ultimate moisturizer, water-based products are best for really getting the greatest moisture benefit. Moisturizers are simply products that are water-based and nourish your hair deep within the strand. Products with moisturizing properties tend to be your conditioners and other specific moisturizer sprays or creams. Good moisturizers will not contain cheap, filler ingredients like petrolatum, mineral oil, propylene glycol or lanolin. If possible, try to avoid products that claim moisturizing benefits and contain these ingredients. There is nothing moisturizing about them! Petrolatum and mineral oil are sealants that seal out the precious moisture our hair needs. 

 

  • Seal In The Moisture: Our hair naturally contains moisture, but because our hair is also naturally porous, keeping the moisture inside is a difficult task. Providing additional sources of outside moisture, or external moisture supplementation, is a must for black hair care. Water molecules and moisture from these supplemental moisturizing products easily pass into the hair shaft, but they pass out just as easily. The moisture you apply needs to held in by something. Oil. Natural butters such as shea, mango, cupuacu or avocado butters seem to love my hair best. A light coating of oil or butter after your daily moisturizer will help seal the moisture inside. Oils are made of large molecules. These molecules are too large to absorbed by the hair strand. Applying oils to the hair and scalp will coat them and trap the moisture that is inside on the inside and the moisture that is outside on the outside. The key is to use the oil to "lock in the moisture." If you use oils without a moisturizer or before one, the oil will seal the moisture out of the hair strand and lead to a coated feel and eventual dryness.  

 

  • REMEMBER! Oils DO NOT Moisturize: Perhaps a words like "nourish" would be better than moisturize. Oil alone will not and do not moisturize within the hair shaft, with the exception of a very few oils, such as: coconut and jojoba. An oil (grease) can only coat the outside of the strand, and give it shine- the illusion of moisture. Oil molecules are hydrophobic which means they repel and do not readily mix with water. Remember, if you apply an oil product to your hair before you have added a moisturizing product, you have created a seal on your hair strand that water and moisture cannot penetrate. This is why I always recommend using my Natty Butter on damp hair..or you can use it in conjunction with a water based moisturizer like distilled or filtered water, our Natty Moist leave in conditioner + moisturizer, our Natty ACV Hair + Scalp Mist or your own moisturizer of choice.

 

  • Handle Hair with Care: Be sure to be gentle when brushing combing and even finger detangling the hair. It's best to detangle on hair that is damp, while under the shower or with at least some natural oil applied to the hands, such as coconut, to help loosen tangles. 

 

Naughty Hair..When Nothing Seems To Work

 

You handle your hair gently, you've tried the moisture, you've tried the protein . . . but nothing is working! What gives? Well, bottom line, there is no way to prevent absolutely no breakage..but minimizing breakage is the key. So, if you are experiencing excessive amounts of 'breakage', be sure to take a step back and access what you may be doing or not doing that causes it.

 

 

Sooo...What To Do??

  • Clarify: Time to clarify to remove an over abundance of product..Try the O'Natural clarifyer..the Bentonite Clay Treatment w/ ACV and Aloe Vera Gel or a Black Soap Shampoo such as our Dudu Osum Natural Shampoo. This wonderful natural goody does wonders with removing all things gone buildup in the hair..remember, always follow up with a deep conditioner afterwards, as clarifyers remove natural oils and moisture, so you must replenish.

 

  • Protein: Treat yourself to a protein treatment as well..you can do an all natural protein treatment. Protein can help to strengthen the hair, especially if you have highly porous hair (check out my post on porosity here ). There are many on the market, however, I normally opt for a DIY protein treatment or henna. 

 

  • Deep Condition: with a moisture based conditioner and add honey and extra virgin olive oil for an extra boost of nourishment. A great quality deep conditioner should work its magic within 20-30 minutes. After that time, there is normally no more enhancement or penetration a deep conditioner can do, so leaving it on for longer periods of time is simply for comfort or habit. For me, I simply use our Natty Cupuacu & Rhassoul Deep Conditioner each time I cleanse, which is ever 2-3 weeks. Place a plastic cap over your head, sit under your steamer or  sit under a heat cap for 30 min.

 

  • Whew: At this point, your hair should be cleaned and conditioned and you should be able to determine whether or not your next product step needs to include more moisture or more protein.

 

Happy Healthy Strong Hair

THE ART OF HOSPITALITY...GREAT ESSENTIALS FOR YOUR GUESTS

By Dominique Harris
on October 18, 2014
With 2 comments

Ah, the beauty of hospitality. Is it a lost art? I think not, but what I have found is that many either lack the understanding or have lost the art of 'giving' and surprisingly, 'receiving'. Researching the history of hospitality, it reaffirms the principle of showing guests that they are welcomed, thought of and honored. It reaffirms great stewardship. It's giving without the expectations of receiving anything. 
My mother is absolutely wonderful at showing hospitality to guests. Even when my husband and I and our 4 children visit, she strives to provide an atmosphere of comfort, giving and over an over all welcoming experience. 
For our home and our guests, we place our guest basket in plain site, positioned so our guest do not have to 'guess' if the basket is for them. Now, each guest basket may vary, depending on who may be visiting. But here's a list of the essentials that are normally included in our guests basket and sleeping area:
  • Shampoo/Conditioner (of course, we use our Natty Natural goodies so each guest can have an O'Natural experience)
  • Our ACV Hair and Scalp Mist (for moisturizing on the go)
  • Deodorant (usually the Crystal brand, since it is made of mineral salts only and no harsh chemicals)
  • Breath mints ( I love the Gingermints from Trader Joes)
  • Soap (some of my favs are Osmia Organices and Etta Billie)
  • Lip Balm (Our latest guest got a gift of our Natty Lip Balm soon to be updated on the site)
  • Snacks (for late night munchies)
  • Butter lotion stick (for on the go needs of vamping dryness)
  • Magazines (the magazine will vary depending on the guest visiting)
  • Q-Tips
  • Toothpaste and a Toothbrush
  • Mouthwash 
  • Facial wash, toner and moisturizer (these are items that I make and include for guests to enjoy)
  • Bottled Water
  • Candle (who doesn't love great scents and a Voluspa Candle!)
  • Fresh towels and wash cloths
  • TV with entertainment, such as Netflix and Amazon
  • Wine (for our guests who love to enjoy an occasional drink or two)
  • Hand Sanitzer ( I love the EO brand)
  • Wipes and tissues
  • Razors
  • Fresh flowers 
  • A 'to go' baggie so our guest can put their essentials neatly away for travel
  • Extra blankets and pillows
  • Clothes hangers or hooks for guests to hang their clothes and coats

 

It's always a joy to introduce a person to the art of hospitality or be exposed to the art of hospitality. The more it's done, the more creative you will become with your essentials for your guests. As always, I hope you enjoyed!

 

 

 

SPICE UP SMALL BATHS...WITH SMALL DETAILS

By Dominique Harris
on October 15, 2014
With 3 comments

When I was living the career life of an Interior Designer, I quickly learned the most coveted rooms in a home were the kitchen and bath. I was blessed to design some amazingly large spaces and some quaint spaces. I favored the smaller spaces because it allowed more creativity in terms of how to spice up areas where the budget wouldn't allow complete structural makeovers. I always stress, no matter if you own or rent, make your space your own and call it home. Here, I show how you can spruce up a small bath without changing one thing in the space..perfect if working on a budget. 

One of the best design tricks for small spaces or spaces that are deemed an 'eye sore' is to draw the eye away from what you may feel is the eye sore. This can be done with accessories, paint, artwork, soaps and many other items. Here, with a small vanity, it's great to keep the color scheme monochromatic, with only mild pops of color. The bath is small, so go a bit big with the accessories, it can create the illusion of more space. It also draws the eye away from the 'small-ness' of the space. Glass accessories also help with opening up the space, so play around with some glass accessories. 

For this guest bath, I always love for my guests to feel at home and providing the basics, in style, helps hone that feeling in. Pretty glass jars for holding tea lights; A beautiful glass and silver tray holding delicate items such as; glass vase filled with all natural, beautifully crafted, awesomely scented handmade soaps, cut to the perfect size for bathing and one filled with cotton balls, q-tips or other accessories; decorative towels, candles and the most yummy-est whipped butter on the planet, Natty Butter ..Oh, and you can't forget the pumpkin..hey, it's fall. When adding pretty little things to a space, the last thing your guest, or you, will think about is anything of an eyesore. A homey bath should be clean, neat and smell O'So yummy too.

Resource List: 

Glass Vases and Silver/Glass Tray: Homegoods
Glass Tea Light Holders: Homegoods
Hand crafted soaps:
Osmia Organics (cut soaps in the Glass Vase:Chamomile Sun, Coffee Mint, Lavender Pine)
Soap on the burnt sienna hand towel: Osmia Organics
Hand whipped body and hair butter: Natty Butter in Sweet Orange Cream

MY O'NATURAL REGIMEN

By Dominique Harris
on October 01, 2014
With 1 comments

Greetings, greetings,greetings,Beaus and Beauties! I hope all is well with you folks. So, I get asked about my regimen, so I would love to keep you guys abreast to my world of all natural hair. Now, keep in mind, my regimen has worked for me, I try to keep it simple and don't really stray from the method I use nor products (well of course, I use our goodies we make, lol) however, I encourage everyone to seek a regimen that truly works for them. Be inspired,but tweak it so that it works for you. Stay tuned and hang out below.

 

STEP 1: PRE POO

Pre Pooing is a beneficial step (totally optional) that is done prior to shampooing the hair. It allows the hair to retain more conditioner,helps prevent the hair from swelling (which can aid in dryness) and helps get rid of shed hair that would otherwise find its home in your drain. Oh, and let's not forget, it helps with detangling the hair minimizing breakage. To view my full Pre-Poo Method, click here

Products of choice for my pre poo: Either extra virgin coconut oil or my Natty Moist conditioner. With my hair in 2 to 4 sections, I apply the Oil or Natty Moist on to dry hair, thoroughly work it in, detangle and cover with a plastic cap for 20-30 minutes,then proceed to shampoo. 

 

STEP 2: CLEANSE

Products of choice: Dudu Osun Natural Shampoo, Terressentials Pure Earth Wash or a Bentonite Clay Treatment. All of these do a wonderful job with clarifying my hair to ensure that product buildup is thoroughly removed, which aids in helping the hair to retain moisture. I cleanse twice per month due to the natural ingredients that I use and I do not accumulate much buildup. I apply the cleanser and focus on massaging into my scalp to ensure a clean scalp and healthy environment for my hair to grow. After cleansing, I soak up excess moisture using an old t-shirt,which causes less friction, frizz and breakage than using a towel. 

 

STEP 3: DEEP CONDITION

Each time I cleanse, I deep condition using our Natty Cupuacu & Rhassoul Deep Conditioner. Talk about a yummy treat for my tresses. I opt to use my steamer or simply heat a desired amount of my conditioner to help lift my cuticles and infuse moisture into my hair,due to my hair's normal to low porosity (For the scoop on Porosity, check it out here). After thoroughly rinsing my deep conditioner out, I spray my Natty ACV Hair & Scalp Mist onto my hair and scalp to help protect my hair and scalp from mineral buildup and environmental contaminants. This also helps to minimize frizz and impart a shine to the hair since it aids with closing the cuticle of the hair, which is lifted during the cleansing and deep conditioning treatments. I wrap my hair in an old T-shirt to allow it to dry to about 50-60%. I've found that when I style my hair on wet hair, it shrinks a ton and the style takes a longer time to dry. Allowing my hair to dry a bit first helps keep my hair a bit more stretched and ensures my hair drys thoroughly. 

 

STEP 4: MOISTURIZE

Once my hair has dried to about 50-60%, I apply my Natty Moist to my hair as my leave in moisturizer. Throughout the week when  my hair is in need of re-moisturizing, I will use my Natty Moist again to hydrate my hair. If my hair is in a protective style, such as twists or plaits, I will use my Natty ACV Mist to moisturize my hair, as a spray is easier to use when hair is in protective styles. 

 

STEP 5: SEAL

Anytime I apply a moisturizer or water based product, I make sure to apply my Natty Butter to seal in the moisture. Because butters and oils are not moisturizers due to the lack of water content, they are known as sealants and are best applied to hair that has been first moisturized or dampened with water or a water based product. Some examples that I use: Natty Moist, Natty Creme or Natty ACV Mist (these are all water based products). 

 

STEP 6: EXTRAS

For extra moisture, after I have applied my Natty Moist, I will apply a dab of my Natty Creme moisturizing styler for a greater hold. This helps a ton with definition and I don't need a lot to achieve any style. It's a bit heavier than the Natty Moist so a little goes a long way..and I can opt to apply my Natty Butter for locking in extra moisture or not. When taking down a style,such as twists or plaits for a twist out or braid out look, I always apply a dab of Natty Butter to my hands to help minimize frizz and friction. This also helps to further soften my hair and give it a bit of sheen. This is the only time I will apply my Natty Butter to my hair in a dry state and only a minimal amount is used. 

At night, I protect my hair using my Eboni Curls Ebonnet. It's made of charmeuse satin which is a wonderful fabric for helping the hair to retain moisture...or, I will simply sleep on my satin pillow.

 

NATURAL HAIR AND POROSITY..THE INSIDE SCOOP

By Dominique Harris
on October 01, 2014
With 6 comments

Bonjour, Beaus and Beauties! I hope all is great with everyone. I want to chat a bit about a topic that's important, along with so many other topics, yet has been a challenge for many to understand, and that is POROSITY. 

As we embark on our journey to healthy hair, this is a topic that can make healthy hair care a breeze once we understand it and become much more familiar with what it is and why it's important. So, let's dive into it and hopefully this can be of some help as you continue to grow on your quest of all things healthy hair. 

 

WHAT IS POROSITY


Porosity refers to the condition of the cuticle layer of the hair.  

The 3 types of porosity levels are: LOW, HIGH and NORMAL.





HOW TO TEST YOUR HAIR


Place a freshly washed, product free strand of hair in a cup of water (cool water is fine) and wait for the show. Leave the strand in the water for about 8-10 minutes to see if the strand stays on top or floats to the bottom.



POROSITY LEVELS

  • If the hair quickly sinks to the bottom of the cup, your hair is of  HIGH POROSITY

  • If the hair floats somewhere towards the top or in the middle, you have NORMAL POROSITY.

  • If the hair floats at the top for a long period of time, you have LOW POROSITY hair.

 

 

POROSITY..THE INSIDE SCOOP

 
 
 

HIGH POROSITY: 


This type of porosity means the cuticle has been exposed to severe amounts of damage, either through environmental exposures, overuse of heat, harsh combing/brushing or chemical processes (relaxers, texturizers, colorants). The strand of hair floats quickly to the bottom of the cup of water due to the weight of the water becoming too heavy to float. Another sign of highly porous hair is that it loses moisture almost as quickly as moisture is applied. A hair, under a microscope, that is highly porous, resembles the gaps of swiss cheese, displaying large holes in the hair follicle. 

 

CARE THAT HELPS:

 

For naturals who do have highly porous hair, thick butters and products that contain oils are great because they serve as a protective layer and help to seal the cuticle. Henna and protein treatments are great because they temporarily fill the gaps/holes in highly porous hair. Apple cider vinegar rinses and ACV Sprays formulated with a lower pH because they help to close the cuticle and protect the hair from environmental contaminants . Protein and Deep Conditioning treatments are extremely useful for temporarily patching the gaps of highly porous hair. Keeping in mind that these are temporary solutions, it's best to focus on keeping the new growth healthy,minimizing or abstaining from the use of heat and keeping chemical processes,such as hair colorants, away from the hair simply due to the fact that once the hair is damaged, the damaged hair cannot be 'permanently repaired'. Dry Detangling using an oil or butter to help with the slip and ease of detangling. Finger detangling is also a good option. By using the fingers, it's easier to feel for knots and tangles easier than when using a detangling tool that may pull, tear and snag the knots or tangles. Should you decide to use a detangling tool,as they can be great, first opt for using the fingers to detangle, then proceed to use the detangling tool of choice. With regular trims and being mindful of the information above such as protein treatments and regular deep conditioning, highly porous hair can become much easier to manage. 

NORMAL POROSITY:

 

This is the happy medium. It means that the hair allows for easy moisture inside the cuticle and it holds moisture for long periods of time making hair less susceptible to breakage. It's a very desirable and low maintenance type of porosity. Be aware, regular chemical processes and excessive heat use can change the hair's porosity over time. Healthy ingredients, regular deep conditions, moisturizing and little to no heat will help keep normal porosity hair at it's best.



 
 

LOW POROSITY:

 

This type of porosity is not as bad as it may seem. This type means that the cuticles are tight and pretty resistant to opening up for moisture. With hair that is of low porosity, many times it may feel as though product is sitting on top of the hair instead of thoroughly penetrating through the hair. The benefit of having low porosity hair is that once moisture is able to penetrate the cuticle, it holds on to it very well...the key is just getting the moisture inside. 

 

CARE THAT HELPS:

With low porosity hair, it's best to incorporate ingredients, especially when cleansing, of a higher alkalinity pH. Some tips that can help to infuse moisture into hair that is of low porosity is by incorporating heat or steam when deep conditioning, such as the use of a steamer, heat cap or simply heating the desired amount of deep conditioner and applying to clean damp hair. Be sure when moisturizing the hair, dampen the hair with a water based moisturizer, such as a leave in conditioner, then apply a butter or oil to lock/seal in the moisture to help train the hair to hold onto moisture longer.

 

My Hair:

 

My hair is a great mix of normal and low porosity. Feel free to check out my regimen here to see how I have managed to achieve and maintain healthy moisturized hair. Education, trial and error has truly helped me to understand and care for my hair and with that, I hope to help others throughout their journey by sharing my experiences. As always, I hope this helps, feel free to share your hair's porosity and how you care for your hair.

HEALTHY HAIR GROWTH...RETAINING LENGTH

By Dominique Harris
on September 22, 2014
With 3 comments

(For this pic..I cut 3 inches of my hair in June for a fresh summer look and this has been my growth thus far, including trimming)

Greetings, everyone!!

I thought I would drop in and give the scoop on the question I receive quite often, which is 'How do you get your hair to grow so quickly?' Well, I can tell ya one thing..I don't take vitamins, I don't apply any miracle serum nor trendy promises of 'grow quick solution products' and my own products do not contain magical ingredients that would cause my hair to grow any quicker than what it is naturally intended to grow given that I give it a healthy environment to grow in.
So without further ado, Let's recap HEALTHY GROWTH and RETAINING LENGTH.. Now, keep in mind,  hair grows at a rate of about 1/4 - 1/2 INCH per month. The rate of our hair growth is determined by a few things, a few are: Genetics, Diet, Exercise and how we treat our hair overall. If we give our hair a nice platform/environment to grow, it will grow.  Here's some tips that ensure healthy hair growth, which is the main importance..HEALTHY

 

 HEALTHY HAIR TIPS: 


KEEP THE SCALP CLEAN .

Applying large amounts of oils and butters only clog the pores on our scalp. Our scalp produces natural oils and many times it has an over production or does not produce as much due to a few things. (a) Years of being clogged using clog poring ingredients (silicones, mineral oil, petroleum, oils, butters). (b) lack of water intake..It's very important that we drink plenty of water (c) Improper diet. Certain foods can have allergic reactions in our bodies and many times,we do not know it unless we keep a journal of foods that cause us to have reactions on our scalp, you will normally see scalp issues such as dermatitis, psoriasis, etc (dairy is known to be a major culprit, but not the only culprit)...Ok, so back on track, be sure to keep the scalp clean and healthy. Making sure to thoroughly cleanse at least once per month using a clarifying cleanser and herbal, tea or acv rinses and co-washing..So again, keep the scalp clean, it's a living breathing organ and is easily clogged which causes it to malfunction

 PROPER DIET AND WATER INTAKE IS IMPORTANT:

Again. Proper diet(clean healthy eating), Exercise and good water intake. Exercise is an excellent way to get blood circulation flowing which encourages healthy hair growth. For some helpful healthy eats info, check out our challenge we have going on now here

 MOISTURE.

Be sure to keep the hair moisturized properly. A wonderful way that has ensured that my tresses stay moisturized is..First, apply water or a water based product to the hair...Then, apply a butter or oil to lock/seal in the moisture. Be sure when detangling the hair, use products that give a good amount of slip (makes it easy for tangles to glide apart). Also, I've found finger detangling helps retain more length than using a brush or other detangling tool.

 TRIMMING/DUSTING:

Trim hair when needed. Because our ends can make or break our hair, it is of the utmost importance to keep them hydrated and trimmed when needed. For more information on achieving and maintaining healthy ends, check out my post here


HIH (HAND IN HAIR SYNDROME)

Try at all possible to keep hands out of hair. I know we love love love our natural and want to rub on it, or our significant other loves to rub on it, but this can cause friction which leads to breakage. If it helps, keep hair in protective styles such as twists or braids/plaits, buns (not too often) so it's less tempting to caress our tresses.

PRODUCTS JUNKY-ISM.

Try, if possible, to remain faithful to a few products..When we indulge in many products, we have a harder time to know what may or may not create an issue with our hair. Giving a product time to work is one of the best ways to know if a product is truly working for your hair. What I have found for myself and other naturals who have achieved healthy hair and awesome growth is that we are faithful to the products we use and usually don't succumb to product junkyism..as tempting as it is. Secure a regimen that works for you and work those products that work for you.

NIGHT PROTECTION.

Protect your hair at night with a satin scarf, bonnet or satin pillowcase, whichever works best for you

DOCUMENTING YOUR JOURNEY..

Pictures are an awesome way to see your growth, if that is your goal. Because we see ourselves daily, it's hard to see our growth. On those days, weeks, months that I wasn't sure my hair was growing, I would look back on pics and see the growth. Those of us who have FB pages, we love for you to post your pics to our page..then revisit those pages a month or two later and look at those pics again.


 USE HEAT SPARINGLY OR NOT AT ALL.

The use of heat can create a host of issues on the hair. So if at all possible, use as sparingly as possible and should you choose to use heat, be sure to use on clean hair and apply a heat protectant each time. For the scoop on how I used heat on my tresses, check out my post here

PATIENCE..

No matter how many products promise this, that or the third, hair grows at the rate that it is naturally designed to grow..Have patience, love it, nourish it and take care of it and it will grow..but more importantly it will grow healthy!!
  


If you love it..It will Grow..Healthy!! 

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