12 Products That Helped Strengthen My Natural Curly Hair

12 Natural Hair Products That Have Worked For My Hair Growth And Overall Gave Me Healthy Hair

For us curly women and new naturals who are having trouble with their hair.

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Anyone with natural and kinky hair knows the struggle of taming their hair. Sometimes, you feel like your hair has a mind of its own.

But that shouldn't hinder you from enjoying your hair! In fact, many girls who have natural hair are experiencing the same struggles as you. For those who just started their natural hair journey, I understand your frustration.

When I did the big chop back in June 2018, I didn't have any knowledge of what products worked for my hair. I was lucky enough to have support from my friends, who gave me advice on what worked for them.

Some products that were recommended to me worked really well, and some didn't have as much of an effect like I hoped it would. The thing you must accept is that these products are NOT cheap, but it is a good investment in the long run! Here are some of the few products that worked for me:

1. “As I Am” Coconut CoWash ($9-15)

For those who don't know what co-wash is, it's kind of like a conditioner you use in between shampoo days during the week. When you shampoo your hair, it strips the minerals from your hair and that's not good. That's why us women don't wash our hair every day. But with co-wash, I can use it in between shampooing, and it allows my hair to get conditioned and have the moisture it needs. But the only negative thing is that it's so damn expensive.

2. “Curls Blueberry Bliss” ANYTHING ($8-18)

This one is a little pricey as well, but it does its job! If you need a product to define your curls, hold them, and smooth them out, these are a great buy! Plus their products smell amazing.

3. “Shea Moisture” Shampoo & Conditioner ($8-15)

This is also one of my favorite conditioners because it helps with hair growth and limits breakage in my hair. I also used to have dry hair, and this really helped my hair get the moisture it needed. It is a little pricey, but it's worth it!

4. “Coconut Oil” (Pure & Unrefined) ($7-15)

This oil contains monounsaturated fatty acids and Vitamin E, which helps with hair growth, hair strength, and limits the amount of breakage on your hair. As a plus, your hair will be smooth and smell amazing.

5. “Jamaican Black Castor Oil” ($6-15)

This oil helps grow your hair and provides strength. This also plays a big role in restoring your edges. Castor Oil contains vitamins and minerals that will allow your hair to be thicker, stronger, and almost invincible when it comes to breakage. Give it a try!

6. “Eco-Styler Gel” [Green one preferably] ($5-10)

This gel is perfect for when I want to wear my hair in a slick-back bun, or if I want my hair styled in a certain way but to make loose hairs stay down. The reason why I recommend the green gel is because the other gels tend to dry fast and make your hair feel crunchy and dry. The green gel provides a lot of moisture and doesn't harden your hair, but still does its job. The only negative thing I can say about this is that it tends to flake towards the end of the day. I have heard people saying negative things about the gel, but I have never had any bad experiences and I highly recommend this!

7. “Carol’s Daughter” Pracaxi Nectar Wash N Go Leave-In ($11)

Pretty much anything by Carol's Daughter works really well for me. This leave-in conditioner softens your hair while leaving defined curls and provides sheen to it. It's a little pricey, but having healthy and good-looking hair is worth it.

8. “Cantu Shea Butter: For Natural hair” – Cleansing cream shampoo, cleansing cream conditioner, complete conditioning co-wash and leave-in conditioning cream ($6-10 EACH)

I feel like EVERYONE who has natural hair owns a bottle of Cantu products. I would have to say that this is my go-to natural hair product because it does its job. I use the shampoo and conditioner the MOST, and the leave-in does its job as well. I also recommend their co-wash in case you cannot afford "As I Am," which acts as an amazing substitute. Some products may work for you and some may not, but that's completely normal.

9. “Just For Me” Hair Milk Shampoo & Conditioner, Curl smoother and edge smoother [DO NOT USE THEIR PRODUCTS FOR RELAXERS I AM BEGGING YOU) ($5-9)

This one worked well for my hair when I became a new natural and when I wear braids. However, for relaxers/perms, DO NOT purchase. This used to be my go-to until I started using Cantu products. What I can say is that their natural hair milk makes my hair silky smooth and defines my curls, while also keeping in all of the moisture. I also use their edge smoother daily when I have braids, and overall the smell is so good!

10. Olive Oil [Extra Virgin] ($3-18 depends on size)

Like other oils, olive oil softens and strengthens the scalp. It helps get rid of dandruff and tension in your scalp. It allows you to stimulate your hair growth and overall a healthy scalp. I also use this for scalp massages as well. You can find this at any grocery store.

11. Homemade Items: Avocado, Honey and Coconut Oil Hair Mask (individual prices may vary)

So another thing I did is that I combined all of these household products together and made a hair mask. I used a whole avocado, a few tablespoons of honey, and some coconut oil. I then blended all of them, put the mixture in a spray bottle, and sprayed my hair. By doing this, I am allowing my hair to be conditioned and soft. It really helps with breakage and allows my hair to be thick.

12. "Hollywood Beauty: Tea Tree Oil" ($2-8)

Tea Tree Oil

I use this product all the time to soothe my scalp when I'm feeling irritation. This is a perfect solution for skin and scalp treatment. Plus, it smells minty!

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20 Small Tattoos With Big Meanings

Tattoos with meaning you can't deny.
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It's tough to find perfect tattoos with meaning.

You probably want something permanent on your body to mean something deeply, but how do you choose a tattoo that will still be significant in 5, 10, 15, or 50 years? Over time, tattoos have lost much of their stigma and many people consider them a form of art, but it's still possible to get a tattoo you regret.

So here are 20 tattoos you can't go wrong with. Each tattoo has its own unique meaning, but don't blame me if you still have to deal with questions that everyone with a tattoo is tired of hearing!

SEE RELATED: "Please Stop Asking What My Tattoos Mean"

1. A semicolon indicates a pause in a sentence but does not end. Sometimes it seems like you may have stopped, but you choose to continue on.


2. "A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor."


3. Top symbol: unclosed delta symbol which represents open to change. Bottom symbol: strategy.


4. "There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls."


5. Viking symbol meaning "create your own reality."


6. Greek symbol of Inguz: Where there's a will, there's a way.

7. Psalm 18:33 "He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights."


8. 'Ohm' tattoo that represents 4 different states of consciousness and a world of illusion: waking (jagrat), dreaming (swapna), deep sleep (sushupti), transcendental state (turiya) and world of illusion (maya).


9. Alchemy: symbolizes copper, means love, balance, feminine beauty, and artistic creativity.


10. The Greek word “Meraki" means to do something with soul, passion, love, and creativity or to put yourself into whatever you do.


11. Malin (Skövde, Sweden) – you have to face setbacks to be able to go forward.

12. Symbol meaning "thief" from "The Hobbit." It was the rune Gandalf etched into Bilbo's door so the dwarves could find his house.


13. “Lux in tenebris" means “light in darkness."

14. Anchor Tattoo: symbolizing strength and stability, something (or someone) who holds you in place, and provides you the strength to hold on no matter how rough things get.

15."Ad Maiora" is translated literally as “Towards greater things." It is a formula of greeting used to wish more success in life, career or love.


16. A glyph means “explore." It was meant as a reminder for me to never stop exploring.

17. "Aut inveniam viam aut faciam," meaning roughly, "Either I shall find a way, or I will make one."


18. Lotus Flower. It grows in muddy water, and it is this environment that gives forth the flower's first and most literal meaning: rising and blooming above the murk to achieve enlightenment.

19. The zen (or ensō) circle to me represents enlightenment, the universe and the strength we all have inside of us.

20. Two meanings. The moon affirms life. It looks as if it is constantly changing. Can remind us of the inconsistency of life. It also symbolizes the continuous circular nature of time and even karma.


SEE ALSO: Sorry That You're Offended, But I Won't Apologize For My Tattoos


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Shaving My Head Taught Me That Self-Confidence Does Not Depend On How I Look

Shaving my head helped me gain more self-confidence than I ever thought possible.

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Hair is something that has more power over us than we think. Historically, hair was viewed as a way to identify your gender, marital status, religion, or social position. In the Quapaw tribe, single Native American women wore their hair in braids, while the married woman wore it long and loose. Hair can be sacred, as well. Many Sikhs believe that hair should not be cut in any way, as it is a gift from God.

In most of Western society, hair serves simply as a gender marker. Although we are straying away from traditional gender roles, long hair usually signifies femininity and short hair represents masculinity. The media portrays desirable young women with long, silky, effortlessly perfect hair.

For me, my hair served as a comfort. Although I struggled with its frizziness, brittleness, and tangle-ability, I relied on it to make me feel secure. When it hung to my waist in high school, I would use it to cover up my arms and shoulders when I wore sleeveless tops, as I didn't like these parts of my body.

As a child, I remember watching Natalie Portman on the Oprah Winfrey show, talking about having to shave her head for a movie role. Even though I thought it was extreme, her calm and pragmatic demeanor about it changed my perceptions on having a shaved head. I remember her saying, "I always wanted to do it once in my life, anyways. It'll grow back my natural color eventually."

Months before I left for college, I began to devise a plan. I would dye my hair the fun colors that I wasn't allowed to in high school, and then shave it all off for the new year. I got started the week after I moved into my dorm and bleached my hair. As the chemicals burned my scalp and made my eyes water, I realized that there was no going back now. I had committed to shaving my head.

When January rolled around, I was starting to get apprehensive. The weekend I had marked on my calendar approached, and I trekked through a snowstorm to the nearest SportsClips. The barber seemed bewildered at my request but didn't give me any time to reconsider. She took the clippers right to my head, and I watched as my bleach-damaged locks fell to the ground, much like the snow outside.

The first week was hard. I didn't recognize my reflection and often caught myself reaching up to play with my non-existent hair out of habit. I only went out in girly outfits or a full face of makeup, as I felt the need to assert my femininity.

As the weeks went on, however, I began to fall in love with my stubbly head.

Would I recommend shaving your head? I would. Although the journey has been challenging, the benefits make the shave well worth it. Not only do save time in the morning, but I also have learned how to stop hiding behind my hair.

Shaving my head taught me how to stop relying on my appearance for self-assurance. When I had long hair, I would often base my validation around how I looked. Although it provided me temporary confidence, it meant that I wasn't placing any confidence in my other traits. I cared more about how the world saw me than how it heard me. Now that I've stripped myself of my comfort blanket, I feel as though I can conquer anything, no matter how I look.

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