What Are Product Boxes and How Do They Work?
1. You subscribe!
2. Each month, the company sends you a selection of product samples and possibly full-sized products.
You don't know what you will get in advance but the box includes a selection of shampoos, moisturisers, conditioners and other hair-related paraphernalia from well-known brands as well as emerging gems.
3. You are normally auto-billed monthly and you get the box like clock work.
Curl Collection bill once every two months. OvernightNatural.com say they don't auto-bill you so every month you have to remember to pay for your box. I don't know how that works but I would prefer to be auto-billed and unsubscribe if I don't like the service.
How Much Product Do You Get?
It varies. Read the website carefully to find out how many samples you'll get before signing up!
If you feel you're not getting your money's worth, unsubscribe.
Is it a good idea?
I think so; if you're new to being natural or if you simply want to sample more products. If you completely stop buying hair products outside of the "box" you're sure to save money.
Natural Hair Product Boxes In the UK...coming.
Natural Hair Product Boxes In the UK...coming.
Get your FREE ebook on How To Grow Long, Healthy Natural Kinky or Curly Hair.
Other Product Boxes
If you want makeup, body products etc. Here are some other product boxes:
I'm not a regular wig wearer but I was inspired by the below picture to get one.
I shared a picture I saw Facebook, lo-and-behold someone recognised the person in the picture, tagged them and she revealed that, it was not her hair, it's a wig.
I asked where she got it, she asked the friend who she borrowed it off and that is how I found myself on one cold March afternoon at LeBelle in Woolwich (12 Beresford Square, Woolwich, London, SE18 6BA) buying an afro wig.
I need a break from combing my hair and the weather has been horrible so for the next 4 to 6 weeks I plan to have corn rows.
London, I have finally found the salon I will be going to when I need to plait my hair! I loved it!
I needed my hair blow dried and cornrowed in a simple fashion. I drove to Lewisham (my nearest metropolitan with black hair salons) and I was walking down Lee High Road in Lewisham when a lady who was weaving someone's hair knocked on the window to attract my attention. "Come do your hair!" essentially.
Now, i get annoyed when someone asks me this when they see my hair is natural just because it's natural but on this ocassion my head was covered and I was looking for a salon so I happily walked in.
This is why I liked the place:
1. The stylist didn't make me feel awkward at all. Every request I made was met with humour. When I pulled out my products she laughed and said, "I know you people with natural hair always have lots of products".
2. The stylist has done natural hair before so she expected me to have lots of requests and my own products.
In fact, I quickly discovered that she has a customer who strictly uses no heat like I used to so she was prepared not to use heat AND to comb minimally. I allow a light blow dry now because I realise it helps remove tangles and makes the plaiting job easier and once every two months (my current rate of blow drying) is not excessive. I think even twice a month would be okay.
I asked for the heat setting to be lowered and she did that with no qualms. She used my own comb
3. The ambience was very light-hearted. For instance, the blow dryer attachment that was near the stylist had broken teeth and I asked, "Are you going to use this?". She just laughed and said we have another one. I said, "Good, then I don't have to go home to fetch my own." And we both laughed at that.
4. She didn't pull too tightly in general and the couple of times it felt tight I said so without feeling guilty. So she eased up. I have a very sensitive scalp so I need very gentle hands; she has that.
Where is this place? 35 Lee High Road, Lewisham (map below).
Need to check if Carolyn is available? Call for her on: 07949 258 198 or 07508 307 215. If her sister answers she'll pass you through. Say I referred you! If you do go, please tell me how it goes!
My tips: wash and deep condition before you go. You hair will stay wet if you pop a shower cap and hat on.
I just wanted simple lines going to the back but I an 100% sure she could have done anything I asked. I'll be rocking a wig so I didn't want anything fancy. I will re-review when I get an updo from her.
All hair has three growth phases:
1. Anagen phase: hair growth
Can last 1 to 10 years, but is 4 to 7 year on average. According to The Science of Black Hair, 88% of the hairs on your head are in the anagen (growth) phase at any one time.
2. Catagen phase: hair resting
Lasts anywhere from 4 weeks to 4 months; 1% of the hairs on your head are currently in the catagen (resting) phase.
3. Telogen phase: hair shedding
11% of the hairs on your head are currently in the telogen (shedding) phase. These hairs either come out on their own or are pulled out during styling. If you have braids or dreadlocks the shed hairs don't fall out because they are restricted from doing so.
It is normal to lose 50 to 100 hairs per day. The average head of hair has 100,000 hairs on it so don't worry you're not going to go bald.
Do you think you are losing more than 100 hairs per day? Or is your hair thinning? This could be because of:
Most of the time, an increased rate of shedding will stop on its own. However, there are things you can do to stop your hair shedding faster...we'll talk about these another time!
What is Baggying Natural Hair?
It's not complicated and it's not new. Baggying is covering your hair in a plastic bag or shower cap.
There are two types of baggying:
What's the point of baggying?
Moisture leading to:
Moist and hydrated hair is less prone to breaking; that's how it allows you to retain more length.
Don't have a shower cap? No worries, just use an actual bag and hold it down using a hair band for the whole head or an elasticated band for the ponytail.
Personally I do a full head baggy most mornings for 30 minutes or so. I've never done a ponytail baggy but I plan on trying it.
What to do if you can't tie your hair in a ponytail:
If your hair doesn't like being bunched up in one place either because it's too short or too thick, like mine, you can part it in four and baggy each plait or twist separately.
Too much moisture can actually cause breakage so don't over do it! Do you baggy? What results (good or bad) have you seen with baggying?
A hair fibre is made of:
The cuticle is actually made up of layer upon layer of shingle-like or scale-like overlapping cells. 5 to 12 layers make up the cuticle surface. These layers are not visible to the naked eye.
Features of The Hair Cuticle
The Hair Cuticle and Defence
The cuticle is the first line of defence against damage from heat, excessive brushing and chemicals.
When the hair cuticle incurs damage the layers become irreversibly lifted - they no longer lie flat along the surface.
Damage From Hair Color and Relaxer
Part of the reason hair can easily get damaged when you color or relax it is that the cuticle layer has to be lifted to let in the colour (or the relaxer) and then flattened back. It's very easy to for the layer to be lifted and then for it to fail to flatten again.
Every day environmental forces such as harsh sun or wind can also wear the cuticle down.
So there it is; the difference between healthy and unhealthy hair is the cuticle.
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First things first, keep in mind that hair thickness is genetically predetermined; this means that you cannot make hair that has always been thin any thicker. Period.
If your hair was thick and has started getting thinner, a problem that I myself have had, then here are 8 tips on how to improve your natural hair's thickness?
The good news is that there are styles that make naturally thin hair look more volumised. My hair is thin at the very back and medium thickness for most of the rest. At the very top it's above average thickness.
Here are some cool things you can do with thin hair.
1. Pin the front up and let the hair fall at the back only rather than having it all loose. Generally pin up styles, partial or complete, help to make hair look fuller
2. Use extensions e.g. marley hair to add volume.
The below tutorial shows how quick and easy it can be once you get used to adding braid extensions to your hair. I think the head below is average thickness so don't despair if you're thinking "that's not thin hair".
3. Wear puffs and shrunken afros.
Any hairstyles that bring hair together add to the illusion of volume. Puffs are awesome on stretched hair and even hair with shrinkage. Let shrinkage happen. Shrunken hair may look shorter but it also looks very thick.
Protective styling is all about retaining more length and retaining hair moisture. There are three types of protective styles:
1. Completely protective styles
Hide the ends of hair from view. Hair ends are the oldest segment of hair on your head and also the weakest. Hiding them from view can help to reduce breakage.
When your hair is pulled together it's much less vulnerable. Think about it this way: is it easier to break one toothpick or ten bunched up together? The answer is the same for hair.
2. Low manipulation protective styles
May have the ends exposed but they require little day-to-day hair handling. Handling such as combing, blow drying and styling hair is when breakage normally occurs.
When my hair was short I could pull a comb through it with zero resistance. Nowadays tangling is such a big issue for me. Frequently with a twist/braid-out or a roller set you can go two or three days without having to restyle your hair thus giving it a break.
3. My favourite hairstyles are both completely protective and low manipulation.
This category is also great when you are transitioning and still figuring out how to manage your natural hair.
When your hair is plaited in some way it gets a proper break and you completely forget about whether or not it's "growing". Ideally, I want to spend most of next year in braids. My only worry is that I have to comb my hair properly to get it plaited and I don't usually do that; I enjoy far less breakage under a minimal comb regime. Finger combing only turned out to be a bad idea for me.
4. Hats and scarves
This is a subcategory of completely protective styling. For most of 2011 my hair was too short to be pinned down so I wore hats and scarves over my head whenever I was outside.
Seriously, I am so obsessed about my hair being covered that one day I walked out the house with it exposed my husband shouted "your hair's not covered" like I was about to drop a baby or something. I had to explain that my ends were hidden so it was okay to walk between the house and the car without a hat.
In summary, the whole aim of protective styling is to reduce opportunities for breakage by keeping hair ends hidden and retaining more hair moisture.
Opportunities for hair breakage increase when hair strands are dry and isolated, i.e. not tied up, when hair ends are exposed to environmental elements (sun, wind, cold) and when you're "handling" your hair. If you are trying to grow long hair consider using protective styling more often.
Protective styles are especially helpful during winter, when it is very hot outside and when the central heating makes a room very dry.
Water is the supreme moisturiser. When you wet your hair water moelcules penetrate the hair shaft and make the hair softer, more elastic and easier to handle/style.
After you've washed your hair it natural dries out over subsequent days. To hydrated and soften the hair properly another wash is needed.
There is a belief out there that water is bad for black hair and that view is completely wrong. I had a misinformed hair stylist tell me that my scalp itched so much because I washed my hair too often - huh? Once a week is not too often at all. In fact, if I go past seven days without doing a wash my hair gets harder and harder.
To keep hair moisturised between washes: spritz it with water. Then add a leave-in conditioner to reinforce the moisture; finally, lock the moisture in using an oil and cream via the LOC or LCO method.
If water is so great, why not wash natural hair daily?
Because the washing process is a prime time for breakage.
When you're handling your hair in any way - washing, combing, styling - you will release shed hairs and get some breakage. If your hair is short breakage during washing and handling is minimal; if your hair is long it will tend to tangle more leading to higher rates of breakage during your wash.
In summary, moisture = hydration, hydration = water, hydrated hair = less breakage. If anyone tells you that water is bad for black hair get them to drop me a line to explain their science!
I now blog about wealth creation - so if you have any money questions meet me there, you can do all sorts of cool things like leave me a voicemail.
By Heather Katsonga-Woodward
I was a natural hair blogger and mixtress living between London & Chicago from 2012 to 2017. I always thought I was 4C but some say 4B; images below - you decide! Heather xx