Sunday, December 11, 2011

Just in Time for the Holidays! - Gift Certificates Now Available!

Now available at Taji's Natural Hairstyling:  Gift certificates for the Natural Haired Diva or Gentleman in your life.  If you are looking for a perfect gift for someone hard to buy for on your holiday list, gift them a pampering experience with one of our talented stylists at Taji's Natural Hair Styling.  Just click on the "Appointments" tab on our website and purchase there!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Winter Hair Tips - Keeping Your Natural Hair Moisturized

Winter time is upon us!  The temperature is dropping...the winds are blowing....there is frost on the ground when we go outside in the morning....our skin is dry....and guess what else is?  Our hair!

So what is one to do?  I'm so glad you asked!   Here are a few tips for keeping your hair soft and moisturized during the frosty winter months.

1.  Condition your hair!  Conditioners are your hair's friend.  A Conditioner's main purpose is to smooth and soften the hair cuticle.  If your hair is prone to dryness, then you will want to deep condition you hair weekly to bi-weekly during the winter months.

Things to look for in your conditioners:  Humectants such as glycerin, panthenol (vitamin B5), or honey.  Humectants draw moisture from the environment to your hair.  The use of these should be minimized in extremely dry areas as they may draw moisture from your hair if they can't find any in the air.  In NC, this shouldn't be an issue as we maintain some measure of humidity in the air all year.  You can always check the measure of humidity in the air on your local weather station or on on their frizz tool by typing in your hair type and zip code.

2. Use a leave- in conditioner.  Adding a leave-in conditioner to your hair will help retain moisture after your cleansing process.  A creamy leave-in will work best for individuals with thick hair whereas those with fine hair might prefer a liquid leave in that won't weigh down their curls.

3.  Add water to your hair.  Moisture is only created by adding water to the hair.  There are two ways to water to your hair.  One way is to add plain water to your hair with a spray bottle, another way is to add a water based moisturizer.  A water based moisturizer will always have water as the first ingredient in the product listing.  You should moisturize your hair a couple of times a week or whenever your hair feels dry.

4.  Seal your moisturizer in with an oil.  Contrary to popular belief, oil is not a moisturizer.  Oils & water do not mix, which is why it assists in creating a temporary barrier to water escaping the hair shaft.  If you have persistent dry hair a butter, such as shea, mango, or cocoa, may be more effective in sealing moisture in your hair.  For individuals who have occasional dryness or fine hair a carrier oils such as olive or coconut (the best for textured hair) will be great for sealing in moisture.

5.  Use a humidifier at home.  The electric, gas, and oil heat that we use to warm our home also strips moisture out of the air.  It dries your skin and hair.  A great way to add moisture back into the air in your home environment is through the use of a humidifier.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Natural Hair News: MTV Casting Call For Woman Who Wants to Do Big Chop

MTV Casting Call:  Are You Ready For the Big Chop?   

Is your hair your obsession? Are are you struggling with your hair? Do you feel natural hair would let you embrace your true self, and you want to go for the “big chop?” Why now? What has held you back up to this moment? We would like to follow someone who is ready to do the “big chop” and follow them on their journey as they transition into their natural hair.

If you appear to be between the ages of 15 -28 and would like us to document your transition to natural hair, email us at and tell us about your story. Please include your name, location, phone number and recent photos of yourself.

Note:  Don't forget that we at Taji's Natural Salon are also looking for women (no age limit) who are ready to transition to natural for us to feature on our blog as well as on Facebook.   We'll follow your journey and will culminate with a video shoot of your "big chop" to be featured on Youtube.  Leave a comment below to be included in our local casting call!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

We Would Like to Feature YOU! Transitioning Stories


Are you a current customer of Taji's Natural Hair styling and in the middle of your transition to natural hair?  We are looking for 3 customers to follow their journey to natural on this blog and Facebook, culminating with your big chop being video taped and featured on Youtube!

The requirements to participate in this feature are: 1) you must be a current customer of Taji's Natural Hair Styling  2) You must be following this blog 3) You must have liked the Taji's Natural Hair Styling Facebook page. 4) Put a comment below about why you decided to transition to natural hair.

We are excited about featuring YOU our fabulous customers!  We hope that through your feature, someone else will be encouraged to transition to natural hair.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Helping Your Spouse or Signifcant Other to Transition To Natural Hair WITH You

Over the years, I've had many occasions to see women struggle with the decision to go natural because they didn't know what their spouse or significant other's reaction would be to the change in their hair.  While many women get up in arms about why a man would not accept the woman he loves despite her hairstyle as I've witnessed through many encounters, conversations, and even blog articles like this one and this one, it is a real issue and should be addressed.

So below I'm going to share some tips for helping the man in your life "transition to natural hair" with you.

1.  Communicate - Talk to your man about why you want to go natural before you start your transition.  There are many reasons why we choose to go natural:  relaxers are damaging your hair, chemical processing is expensive, wanting to develop a more healthy lifestyle including going to the gym, just wanting to embrace your natural texture/curiosity.  No matter what it is, share your reasons.  Allow for dialogue so that you can receive his feedback as well.

2. Educate - Those who who do transition to natural hair often go through some education process about natural hair, how to care for it, maintain it, and style it.  Share some of this information with your husband/boyfriend as well.  I'm not saying drag him to a natural hair meetup or teach him about every natural hair product line on the market, but do share general information about natural hair with him. This will be especially helpful when you start using natural hair lingo like big chop, two strand twist, braid out, etc.

3. Get his input on styling options - Allow him to look at some of the styles on the Taji Natural Hair Styling gallery, Youtube, or even point out styles on natural haired women you see while you guys are out and about.  Ask for his input.  Though every style looks a little different with each hair texture and individual, you will have an idea as to what his preferences are. 

4. Exposure - This is one thing that you might not have to create.  Fortunately, there are many women who are going natural.  Usually what is seen in the masses is more easily accepted by the masses.  There are black and multiracial women seen on television shows, tv and print advertising, on billboards, in music videos and in society in general.  As you make him more aware of natural hair through your conversations, he will also be more aware of natural hair in his surroundings.

If your husband/boyfriend is not initially supportive about your decision to transition from relaxed to natural hair, these steps should at least help him to see things from your perspective.  Hopefully, he will appreciate your efforts to include him  and make him a part of your decision.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Natural Hair & Dating


I recently read the this article in Madame Noire, which is an online black lifestyle guide.  The title of the article was Does Your Hair Play a Part In the Way Men Approach You? (click the link to read the article).  The article discusses how the pick up lines change based on the fact that the author was natural.  Instead of the typical "Hey, ma!"  or "Hey, shawty!" The pick up lines were more in reference to your hair, "I love your fro."  Her premise is that though the lines appear to be more respectful, they were still pick up lines none the less.  My personal opinion:  A pick up line is what it is, a way to get a subject (whether male or female) to drop their guard long enough to get to know more about them.  I would prefer a more respectful pick up line than a disrespectful one any day.  (insert shoulder shrug)

However, I would like to expand more on the topic of dating and natural hair.  How have your romantic interactions been now that you are natural?  Do you feel that you are approached more or less?  Do you (as a woman) find yourself more open to men who wear locs or an afro?  For our men, do you find yourself more attracted to natural haired women?  Why?  What has changed (for both men & women)?

 While you're thinking about your comments, check out this funny Youtube video about some of the stereotypes that are associated with dating a natural haired woman.  Leave a comment below!!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Transitioning to Natural Series - Transitioning Hairstyles

During your transition to natural hair it can be very difficult to blend your new naturally curly hair texture with your straight relaxed ends.  Many naturals have the desire to flat iron this hair to blend it.  By using this method however, you can very easily end up with heat damaged hair.  Heat damaged hair will not revert to its naturally curly pattern.  Unfortunately, if your non-chemically processed hair becomes heat damaged, the length that you have acquired will need to be cut when your relaxed ends are eventually removed.

So how can you accomplish a polished look without heat styling to blend the two textures, you ask?  Try a few of the styles selected below:

 Straw Set/Flexi rod Set

Bantu Knots

Two strand twists with extensions

Sew In Weave

Faux Fro
All of these looks can be performed by any of the talented stylists at Taji's Natural Hair Styling.  So if you're at a frustrated point in your transition and you need some help, call us for a free consultation!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Transitioning to Natural Hair Series - Steps to Preparing for a Successful Transition

In the 2nd part of our Transitioning to Natural Series we will focus on steps that are key to ensuring you have a successful transition from relaxed hair to natural hair.

First we'll deal with the healthy hair strategies:

Treat your hair as if its all natural -  Begin eliminating products from your regimen that contain silicones and parabens and sulfates.  Choose styles make it easy to blend your natural hair with your relaxed hair without using heat.  Detangle with care!  The line between your relaxed hair and natural hair (demarcation line) is very fragile and can break easily if you are not very gentle when detangling.   

Keep your hair well moisturized  -  Natural hair adores water and regular moisture is key to healthy natural hair.  Use water based moisturizers (they will have water as one of the first ingredients) on your hair. Keep in mind that adding moisture is not only external but also internal.  We should drink about half of our body weight in ounces of water each day. 

Deep condition regularly -  I would suggest that deep conditioning is key in any hair regimen but it is even more key with naturally curly textured hair.  A great deep conditioner should aid in detangling and leave your hair feeling soft and moisturized.

Next let's talk about the mindset:

Realistic expectations regarding hair texture/curl pattern  - Everyone's curl pattern is their own.  Some are wavy, some are tightly coiled, while others are kinky. Some individuals don't have a curl pattern at all.  Be prepared for your hair texture to be any of these curl patterns.  You may also find that you will have a mixture of several curl patterns in your head.  Be willing to embrace whichever one that is uniquely yours!

Prepare those you love for your decision - As much as this is your natural hair journey, you are taking your family and close friends on this journey with you.  Share with them the reasoning for your decision.  As you look at styles on Youtube or in magazines, ask their opinion of styles they like.  You may find that there are many that are close to you who are very supportive of you.  However, you should be prepared for the possibility that not everyone who cares about you will be supportive of your decision. Just remember that as much as you want everyone to be as excited as you are about your journey, the most important thing is that you love the reflection in the mirror and are comfortable with the way she faces the world everyday.  

Have a support network - Which brings me to my next point.  It is important that before you start your natural journey that you find a supportive network.  This may include supportive friends and family members, natural hair boards, natural hair blogs like this one, or YouTube.  Natural hair meetups are also a great source of information and encouragement in your local area.  Sometimes when those close of you are not your greatest supporters, these support networks will keep you educated, motivated to stay the course.

Patience - It will take time to learn your hair in its natural state and to develop a regimen that fits your hair. 
Products that work for others may or may not work for you.  Just know that the work that you take in learning & caring for your hair will be rewarded with healthy locks and growing strands.

Have a good stylist -  While it is important to do your own research, it is equally important to have a knowledgeable, skilled, supportive stylist to help you learn about and care for your natural hair.  This could potentially mean the parting of ways from the stylist that you've had many years, especially if she/he has no knowledge of natural hair maintenance or doesn't support your decision to eliminate chemical processing from your hair regimen.  Do your research.  Get recommendations and always get a consultation before sitting in the chair for a style.  Ask questions.  A professional stylist will encourage your questions and be willing to answer them to make sure you're comfortable.

For those of you who are "seasoned" naturals, can you think of some other things that you wish you would have known before you decided to go natural?  Share them below!

Check out the blog next week for some transitional styles!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Transitioning to Natural Hair Series - Part I

So you’re thinking about transitioning your hair from relaxed to natural?  Welcome to our Transitioning to Natural Hair Series!  You have questions, we have answers.  In this series we will educate you on three things:  the frequently used jargon and terminology in the natural hair community, provide you with steps to help you prepare for the transition from relaxed to natural hair, and show you some transitioning styles that will give you a well put together look while maintaining the health of your new natural strands.  We want this to be interactive for our clients and visitors, so if you have questions, please post them in the comments section below.  We’ll be sure to address your questions by responding directly to your comment or by creating a separate blog post if enough people inquire about the same thing!  

Natural Hair Jargon

Ever go into a natural hair forum or watch a Youtube video of your favorite natural and wonder what they were talking about?  As a new natural, it can be kinda confusing understanding the lingo and jargon in the natural hair community.  Well never fear, below we've defined some of the most common natural hair terms.  Take a look below!

3c/4a/4b/4c -  A hair typing system created by Andre Walker that describes your hair ‘s curl pattern
ACV Rinse – apple cider vinegar; this is often used as a final rinse (diluted) to seal the cuticle
APL – a way of measuring your hair’s length, arm pit length
BSL – a way of measuring your hair’s length, bra strap length
CBL – a way of measuring your hair’s length, collar bone length
BC – Big Chop! Cutting off all of your relaxed hair  
Baggying – the method of coating the hair with conditioner and leaving it on & covering with a bag (conditioning bag, shopping bag, etc), ideally overnight
No poo (co-wash) – the act of cleansing your hair with conditioner instead of shampoo, it is supposed to prevent the stripping of natural oils from the hair
BAA – big ass afro
TWA – teeny weeny afro
PJ – Product Junkie!  Someone who buys every popular hair product  or natural hair styling tool
Moisturizing – the act of adding water to the hair
Sealing – trapping moisture (water) in the hair with oils or a butter like shea or cocoa
Essential Oils – an oil that is distilled, usually by water or steam from the roots, leaves, or stems of a plant.   They are very concentrated and should not be applied directly to the skin.  Some examples are lemongrass, sweet orange, rosemary, tea tree, peppermint, etc.
Carrier oil – an oil that can be used to dilute essential oils.  They are also good for sealing in moisture. Some examples are olive oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, & grapeseed oil
Humectants – ingredients in hair products that help draw moisture from the air into the hair shaft.  A couple of examples are glycerin and honey.
Dusting – trimming less than ¼ inche of hair, usually to remove split ends
Slip – the slipperiness (is that a word? LOL) of a conditioner or detangler, the more slip a product has , the easier it is to detangle the hair
DT or DC – deep treatment or deep conditioner, usually when a conditioner is left on the hair for more than 15 minutes to increase moisture retention and/or to assist with detangling
Plopping – a technique for drying your hair where you pat your hair with a t-shirt or terry cloth towel to dry your hair instead of using a regular towel, this reduces frizz
Wash & Go – styling your hair in its naturally curly state by applying a curl defining gel or cream
Shingling – The application of a curl defining gel or cream to the hair by taking finger and raking it through in sections.  This helps to define and set your natural curl pattern.
Two strand twists – When a small section of hair is separated into two equal section and then twisted around each other
twist out source
Twist out – Undoing 2 strand twists for a wavy effect    
Braid out – When hair the braiding into individual plaits and then undone after drying, resulting in a crinkly effect
Second day hair – a  2nd day hair style where the previously achieved pattern (via twist out, braidout or wash and go) remains and looks great with no major manipulation or recreation of the original style
Shrinkage – the amount of length that is loss (from when hair is fully extended) when hair dries in its naturally curly state
Stretched hair – a method of maximizing the hair’s length by first setting the hair in a manner that reduces the amount of shrinkage
Single strand knots (fairy knots) – when a strand of hair get a small knot on its strand (these should be periodically cut so other strands do not get tangled and create a bigger knot)
Silicones (cones) – ingredients found in hair care products that are not water soluble.  Failure to remove silicones (with shampoo) may result in buildup which can lead to dry hair.   
SLS – Sodium Lauryl Sulfate – a cleansing ingredient found in harsher shampoos.  This ingredient tends to strip natural oils and moisture from natural hair leaving it dry

This is not an all inclusive list but just some key buzz words that you will encounter when talking to other naturals.  Can you think of a word, abbreviation or phrase that you’ve heard that you can’t figure out what it means?  Post it in the comments section below and we’ll define it for you.  Did we miss one that you know the definition for?  Please share.