MANE THING WITH SD

Hey lovelies,
Welcome to MANE THING with STELLA.
This is going to be an exciting ride in the world of hair and everything that comes with it.
People who know me can tell you how much I love and study hair. Sounds crazy right? Why will an actress study hair and its products?
Well I started studying hair 16 years ago when I began to loose my once full, thick and luscious hair. A few weeks before I had my first baby, my hair started falling off and I began to panic, not knowing or understanding what was going on with me. I got scared because I thought it had something to do with a disorder but it didn't.
I found out that it happens to some of us because of our extreme hormonal imbalance. Some may experience it because of irregular monthly periods as well.
After that experience my hair started growing back and I became fascinated with different textures, curl patterns, natural shades, density, growth rate, best products, routines and regiments, styles, weaves, wigs, weft arrangements and every other thing that concerns hair
So I have decided to share my experiences, knowledge and my world of hair with you all. This is so exciting for me already because it is the most important part of my look before I step out of my house.
For your information, I have the 4c hair but very soft and different from other 4c naturals I have come across. My coil pattern is different too but it is still classified as 4c.
I will share my favorite products for naturals, weaves, synthetic hair and the best vitamins for hair stimulation and growth.
Different people have posted articles on mixing different oils without being sure that the components in some of them may nullify the components in others. They have asked people to mix certain things that have no business being in the same dispenser bottles or containers. These mixtures end up drying out your hair instead of moisturizing and nourishing.
We will also talk about the best braiding hair  brands for twists, crotchet, braids and wrapping.
Trust that I will point you to the best tutorials on every aspect of hair including what to look out for before you buy any type of hair from a physical store or online.
The whole world sells hair now as a business but how many of them care about their customers and quality more than the money they are making?
Can you tell the difference between authentic HUMAN HAIR and GRADE 6 SYNTHETIC HAIR?
I bet you didn't even know that synthetic hair comes in grades.
Not to worry, I will share some industry secrets with those of you who love hair and want  to know what you are buying and what you are wearing.
Love you all so much and thank you for going on this journey with me.
My hair is my CROWNING GLORY.
 WELCOME TO MY WORLD

Stella Damasus
www.stelladamasus.com

"It's not what people say you are, It's who God says you are"


CARING FOR YOUR NATURAL HAIR

Hey Lovelies,

I trust that you are all hanging in there regardless of the daily challenges we are all facing.
After my first introductory article, I got a call from my older sister complaining that the article was not complete. I got a bit worried because I checked and read it over and over again but it was complete. 

She then made me understand that her friends whom she shared the article with, wanted me to say more about my hair journey and knowledge. I took that as a huge COMPLIMENT because it meant that I got their attention.

So this article will be focused on some basic things I discovered about natural hair and the best way to handle it.

1.Even though YOU have natural hair, it's still different from others who have natural hair.
Curl patterns are different and COIL patterns are different as well, but we will talk about the real difference between CURL and COIL in another article.
2. Natural hair needs ordinary water more than any other product that is advertised.

3. Find the products that work for you and if it's just one stick to it. Changing hair products without being sure that your hair is compatible with its components can be disastrous.

4. Not all protective styles (according to some stylists) are good for your hair. If your hair is not as strong as others then you have to avoid some styles that they have termed “protective”.
5. Natural hair needs more steaming (cold or hot) than other types of hair.

6. When you take down your protective style, you need to saturate your hair with a mixture of water and leave in conditioner, then comb it out starting with the ends first, all the way up to the roots.

Comb through your hair to gently take out clumps and knots before you wash. This step is extremely important because without it you will lose more hair than normal. 

It's not the braids or weaves that cut the hair ALL the time (especially if properly done), it's the omission of this step that destroys it.

7. Don't be deceived into thinking that because your hair is natural, you can straighten it with hot straighteners and put water in it to revert it without breakage. After straightening my very thick natural hair a few times, I noticed that the ends of my hair became much thinner than the roots.
In my head I believed that after washing my hair with shampoo and conditioner it will come back to its original state, but the truth is that when natural hair has been damaged by excessive heat it wouldn't return to its original state and eventually you will have to cut it off.

Lesson Learnt: If you choose to go natural then stick to it. If you want straight hair then get a straight wig or straight weave with closure.

8.Even if your hair is in braids, you still need to wash and condition it, leave it to air dry then oil or moisturizer your scalp depending on the kind of scalp you have.

If you have good scalp that produces or retains oil then please moisturize instead of using oils. But if you have dry scalp like me, then please use more oils than creams or moisturizers.

Hair cream should be used maybe one or twice a week, but you can oil or moisturize daily.

9. Allow your natural hair to breathe after a protective style TAKE DOWN. Pamper it and give it the kind of attention and treatment you would want your body and face to have.

10. Don't treat your natural hair like it's made of steel. It is hair in it's natural state. The health of it is determined by : 

⁃What you feed it
⁃ How clean it is
⁃ How you can handle it when combing
⁃ How you pull it
⁃How long you have a hairstyle on
One Last thing that may sound crazy, funny, unrealistic, silly, or irrelevant to most people is prayer. Funny right? Wrong.

Why do we pray for every other thing in life but we cannot pray for the health of our hair? Do we think one part of our body is less important than the other?
If your answer is NO, then why don’t you pray for your hair?
#JustSaying


Stella Damasus
www.stelladamasus.com
"It's not what people say you are, It's who God says you are"






USING PRODUCTS WISELY


Hey Lovelies,

I have realised that a lot of people use all sorts of products on their hair without doing any research first.
Personally, I like to find out more about products, their components and uses before I try it on my hair. It's not healthy to put different things in your hair just because you saw an advertisement or it worked for someone else.

So, here are a few tips that just might help:

1) GEL: Works best for sculpting and smoothing strands. You really don't need to use heat on it to make it work. Tie it with your scarf, leave it on for a while and that should set it and keep it down.

Some types of gels are used to define your curly hair (especially short natural hair) if that's your texture. Be careful with the kind of gel that you use.

I have discovered one that works best for me and it's called “ MOCO DE GORILLA (Snot Gorila Gel) Punk”
Be careful not to use extremely strong gel that can dry out and break your hair when you’re taking out whatever style you had your hair in.

Styling Tip: You can use the gel to mold your hair into a ponytail.


2)EDGES: Five years ago, I really didn't know anything about laying edges except from when your hair was in a ponytail, but it became more popular a few years ago and every woman had to learn to lay their edges.

One problem I have with it is that some people do it to the point were their edges look like wild oceans. That for me makes your hairline look fake and too intentional.
I am very old school so I believe in looking natural and decent. I lay my edges when I need to but not to look like I spent one hour sculpting it. Not every one can do it perfectly too.
I usually recommend using small amounts of edge control to prevent any ugly white or yellow looking residue on your hair line.

There are edge tamers that are more water based and others that are like dry paste.
If you have straight hair from perming I would recommend dry paste gels like CREME OF NATURE (argan oil) PERFECT EDGES. There are other amazing products out there but this is my most preferred for straight hair.

If you have natural or curly hair, then I recommend using wet based edge controls like
SANA HAIR EDGE CONTROL, MOCO DE GORILLA (Snot Gorila Gel) Punk, HICKS EDGES. There are other great wet based edge controls but I will only recommend what I have really used that worked.

3)CONDITIONING

After washing my hair with shampoo and regular conditioner, I normally follow up with my own mixture of conditioner and water.

Many people have asked me how I get my natural hair to be very soft and curly, so here’s the simple trick.

I use my spray bottle which costs only one dollar, put a small quantity of leave-in conditioner cream and then add water to fill up more than half the bottle. I shake until the mixture is properly mixed and blended then I spray all over the hair (not the whole bottle, just enough to dampen my hair)
When I am done with that, I use my hands to massage it in, then I comb starting from the ends all the way to the roots.
My preferred products are DARK and LOVELY , MIXED CHICKS, AFRICAN PRIDE (shea butter miracle), CANTU (Shea butter leave-in), and BEAUTIFUL TEXTURES (tangle taming).

You can use anyone of the product I mentioned, they are all available at the beauty supply store and are very good but I advice that you stick to the ones that gives you the softness you need.
It also has to be light enough not to weigh your hair down or make it go limp. I don't like very thick and creamy leave in conditioners. The lighter moisturizing conditioners are better for natural 4c hair.

There are other products that are out there in the beauty world, but make sure you find the right fit for your hair.


Find out what the components are and look them up to know the ingredients that are going into your hair.
Eat the right foods that support hair growth and strength.
Drink lots of water and eat fruits too.

Stella Damasus

www.stelladamasus.com


Why does natural hair break?

This is a question that every woman with natural hair has asked at some point in her hair journey.
There is an argument that natural hair breaks faster than permed or straight hair. A lot of people have said it is not true and have even tried to prove it in so many ways.

In my opinion, I think that natural (especially 4c) hair breaks more than permed hair. Trying to comb 4c hair is definitely more stressful than combing permed or straight hair.
The one thing that everyone should know is that if you have 4c hair, you will definitely experienceshedding or breaking whether you like it or not. 
Some people may have minimal breakage and others may have excessive breakage. 
When I was a child my mother used black hair thread to straighten out my 4c hair, not only to stretch it for length but to make it easier to comb without all the shedding. It actually worked for me then.
Unfortunately, we don't do that anymore so a lot of us have tried to use different methods to achieve the same thing. These things may cause damage if we are not careful.

Why does natural hair break?
Stress has been known to cause hair shedding because of hormonal imbalance
When you leave your protective style for too long, the root creates knots filled with dirt that breaks off when you comb
Washing your hair without detangling first
Combing the hair directly from the root to the end (Always comb your hair from the ends down to the root)
Using small toothed combs (tiny) instead of starting off with the big toothed combs (big).
Using the wrong products for shampooing which dries out the hair and eventually breaks it.
Using too much conditioner (It can weaken the hair causing it to break off while combing).
Braids or cornrows that are too tight/tiny which can cut the hair from the roots.
Too much gel/extremely hard edge control can take out your edges.
Lack of regular steaming
Dry scalp
Constantly touching/ combing your hair (this is why you need protective styles)
Your diet can affect the health of your hair
Cold weather can break your hair if you don't protect it. 


These are some of the reasons your hair can break. However, if your shedding is very excessive you might want to see a doctor.



Next week, I will give you some tips on how to prevent the breaking. They have worked for me and I will be more than glad to share them with you.
If you have your own methods that have worked for you please send them to me info@stelladamasus.com so that I can include it and help our fellow Naturalistas.

It is not rocket science to know that compared to straight hair, COARSE and COILY hair will lose more strands when touched or combed.


Thank you for stopping by.
www.stelladamasus.com


ITCHY SCALP

So many women have a problem with itchy scalp but are too embarrassed to even say or discuss about it. There was stigma as regards having an itchy scaly scalp when I was growing up. Some people believed that any woman who has an itchy or scaly scalp is dirty or has a horrible disease.
As a result of this, a lot of women secretly nursed their troubled scalp alone which made it worse. If left untreated, it gets worse and becomes a condition that a proper TRICHOLOGIST has to treat.

Itchy scalp is not something that should cause embarrassment because it can be caused by different things that we cannot control, such as:

Diet or lack of it
Hormonal imbalance
Sharing combs with a person who has a scalp condition
Leaving on braids or weaves for too long
Using the wrong hair cream/products
Braids or cornrows that are too tight
Heat under your weave
Excess chlorine from swimming
Starving your scalp of essential oils
Neglecting your scalp
I am not ashamed to say that I have battled with dry scalp for a long time. The good thing is that I can trace when and how mine started.

A couple of years ago I accommodated a lady who had a lot of hair. Her hair was so long and healthy looking,  no one would ever think she could have dry scalp.
She didn't have a lot of things to use for her hair so I told her it was okay to use my combs as long as she cleans them up. I could not prove how well she cleaned them but I know that my dry and itchy scalp started when I shared my personal combs and brushes with her.
I asked her about it and she confirmed that she was battling with itchy scalp but it never broke her follicles.

So I did what I should have done in the first place, bought her a set of combs for herself. It is good to share but not with everything please.
There are things that should be personal and private like syringes, combs, underwear, toothbrush, sponges, cotton buds etc.

Anyway, I spoke to different hairstylists and specialists who prescribed and mixed different things that would cure it. I tried everything under the sun and ate everything they asked me to.

At this time I had never heard of the word TRICHOLOGY neither did I know anyone who practiced it professionally.

After some years I decided to study hair and scalp by myself and get to the bottom of it. That was when I realised that different things worked for different people.

It might shock you to know that my scalp did much better when it was under protective styling. That way it would retain and keep whatever oil I put on my scalp. But when I let my hair out for days, the wind just dries it up so fast. So, if I have to leave my hair out, I will have to oil it twice a day (NOT CREAM PLEASE). I discovered a mixture of certain oils that worked for me.

Another huge revelation that has been working wonders for my hair is a product that a lot of us have abandoned. We prefer to buy foreign and new products because of the hype.

This revelation is the one and the same VIRGIN HAIR FERTILIZER . It might make some people laugh but I have been using it for a while now and it has really turned my scalp around. I try to use my mixed oils once a week for hot oil treatment, but I use my virgin fertilizer everyday.

Find out what works for you and stick to it. Don't be ashamed to talk to a professional about your scalp issues.


Thank you for stopping by.

BEST BRANDS FOR AFRO KINKY CROTCHET AND BRAIDS


I like to wear natural hair but the truth is, it can be really tiring. 

I love hair very much as you know, but I don't have all the time in the world to do the natural hair routine everyday. 

Sometimes I want to protect my own natural hair from combing and products but I also want to have the same natural look without having my hair out. So I do protective styles that still look like my hair such as, Afro kinky braids, Afro puffy twists, Afro crotchet and crotchet wigs are some of the styles I do that look like I am wearing my natural hair. 

The beauty of these styles is that if done right people can barely tell that it is not all yours. 

There are some brands that look very synthetic and shine unnecessarily. Sometimes it may even make you scared to go near the kitchen for fear of the hair catching fire. 

I have used a lot of brands trust me, and I have found the best that I will gladly recommend to you:

  • Bijoux realistic Afro kinky bulk 
  • Naffy fluffy twist hair 
  • Afri naptural Afro kinky bulk 
  • Janet collection Afro kinky twist hair 
  • Vivica fox Afro soul kinky bulk 

These are the most realistic, softest and easy to handle brands I have used. 

They don't hurt my fingers when I braid or twist. 

They are easy to crotchet on my hair or wig cap and I don't need to put any products on them.

I chose these ones because they are durable and can be used more than three times if properly handled. 

You can curl and bring them back to the original state by combing the curls out carefully and braiding the strands. 

I hope this is helpful and if you need more information please let us know.

If you have found brands that are very good and you can recommend, do not hesitate to share them with me.

Stella Damasus 


TAME IT

I was watching television on a Saturday morning and stumbled on a television program. The presenter was speaking to a black woman who was furious about an experience she had. 
She was asked to tell the audience why she was so upset, and why she wanted justice. 
The lady said she went for a job interview for a tech company but was denied the position because of her hair. The human resource director told her point blank that she was very qualified for the job but they didn't like the fact that her hair was too big and all over the place. 
She was told that if she had held it in a ponytail or pulled it back, she would have had a better chance. 
At this point all the black people in the audience got very upset and were shouting RACISM. I was one of those screaming racism as well even though I was not physically in the studio. 
People who know me will tell you that I support my black brothers and sisters, most importantly I stand by women all over the world. 
So I was already upset that my black sister was being marginalized because of the texture of her hair. Since I had the same texture I was already livid saying that it can happen to me.
My anger was rising until they put up the picture of the way she looked for the interview.
Hmmmmmmm!
Hold up!
Wait a minute!
I had to remind myself to be more patient and get all the facts before going bananas. 
Even though I support natural hair, that does not mean that we should not take care of it. 
We always say dress the way you want to be addressed and unfortunately I did not blame the interviewer for the statement he made.
She was dressed appropriately but her hair was so huge. It was about 14 inches of coarse kinky 4c Afro that had huge clumps. 
I am a naturalista too so I know how tough it is to tame natural hair. We have to remember that when we are the ones looking for work or help we have to look neat, tidy and not look like we are going for a hair show. 
It's an office where clients will be received. Nobody wants their clients to come in and stare at a staff member because of her untidy hair.
Please, if you have natural hair, no one is saying perm it or make it look like a white girls hair. No! 
All I am saying is that you should try and make it look neat, tamed and well put together so that it is not a negative distraction. It is an office and not a hair salon. 
I have met a lot of naturalistas who have become so sensitive and defensive when someone talks about their hair. 
It's good to defend what you have but it's also good to take care of it and not let it make you look like an insane person.
Things you can do
1. Water is the best moisturizer so get a spray bottle, fill it halfway with water and add a small amount of leave in conditioner. Shake well for mixture to blend and spray it daily. 
2. If you have to go for an official engagement, please comb thoroughly and pat to be even or pull back with a band.
3. Try and learn a few of the amazing natural hairstyles that work for all occasions. Regardless of your length, there is a style that will work for you. 
4. Make sure it smells nice so that when you come in contact with people it's not a put off.
5. It should not be the first thing that someone sees if you want to work in an office with other people. 
6. Be considerate of the people around you and put yourself in their shoes. 
7. Unless you own the company please follow the rules to avoid issues. 
8. Dress code includes your hair so be sure to adhere to it. 

Thank you for stopping by. 



DON'T SPOIL YOUR WEAVE

So I installed a custom made unit (wig) for one of my clients. It was a kinky curly human hair weave and she truly loved it.

My client rocked her unit for almost 6 months then all of a sudden she called me to say she was disappointed.

That is not a statement I am used to hearing especially when I recommend good hair and make it into a unit.

I asked her why she made the statement and she went on to say that she flat ironed the unit to get a straight look but could not get it back to its original state after spraying it with water and conditioner.

Let me back up so I can give you a little back story.

When the client called and said she would like me to recommend very good kinky curly hair for her unit, she specifically said "NOTHING EXPENSIVE PLEASE".

I made sure that she understood the different grades of hair which all depends on what you want and how much you are willing to spend. Again, she said she didn't want to spend money she just wanted good human hair and not grade 4, 5,6 or 7. This meant that she would have a very nice looking unit that can last as long as she can take care of it.

I made the unit and gave her the products she could use to care for it. The products worked and she enjoyed the hair. The problem started when she decided to use extreme heat to straighten out the unit without consulting me. She didn't ask me what products to use before flat ironing or how to set the heat of the flat iron.


Even at that, the hair was still good enough to take the heat and come out the way she wanted. But her main issue was that it didn't go back to its original state.

How can it go back to its original state when:
She didn't use the right products before applying heat
She didn't set the flat iron to the right setting
She didn't buy high grade hair
She decided to turn cheap kinky curly hair straight instead of buying a not so expensive straight weave.

I always advice anyone who cares to listen, to invest in different types of weaves and wigs. It sounds expensive but it is not, in fact it is more sensible and economical to do that.

If you want to wear curly hair and have that natural look, you can buy curly hair even If it's not very high grade. There are so many great brands that have hair to mimic the highest grade if you can care for it properly.

If you want straight hair for a different look then buy straight hair and enjoy the new look as opposed to using heat to try and manipulate hair that is not high grade and quality.

With grade 5,6 and 7 you can manipulate the curl pattern and get it back to its original state with the right products. With cheaper hair please buy different curl patterns and straight hair so that you can easily change your look.



Thank you for stopping by.
www.stelladamasus.com 

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