Silver Sparkles

I was a bit disheartened when a friend recently showed up with her hair dyed in a monotone, off black color to cover her silver hair. My first impression was that this color, which was too dark for her complexion, over-shadowed her sparkle. If you didn’t know, let me be the first to tell you, Silver Hair Sparkles!!!

Fashion Design by Greta Wallace of Simply Greta

But of course, every woman has the right to wear her hair the way she prefers. Many women believe that dying their hair will make them look younger. As a beauty expert who can’t help but notice a woman’s appearance, I have always countered that covering up your silver hair, doesn’t necessarily make you look younger; done improperly, it can actually create the opposite of what is actually desired.

And speaking of young, the young girls are stripping their dark hair and dying it silver these days; that’s the trend. Silver is the new black!!! And I’ve recently heard a couple of podcasts about white women getting on the natural hair bandwagon. Natural hair for them means being liberated from covering up their silver hair.  And doesn’t silver sound more appealing than gray?

If you prefer covering your silver hair, here are a few tips so that your hair doesn’t scream, “I’ve just dyed my hair to cover the gray.”   As we grow older, silver hair or lighter hair, softens the aging of our faces. So follow these tips.

Tip 1 – Use a color that is at least a shade or two lighter than your natural color. Whatever you do, don’t use black, which will give you a harsh look and will wash out your natural complexion, reflecting a dull hue in your skin tone.

Tip 2 – See a professional colorist who will know how to match your skin tone and offer you an array of hair colors to choose from. And though it may cost a little more, having highlights and low-lights will really give your hair more of a natural look, emulating the way natural hair color appears in varying shades. At Khamit Kinks Professional Colorist Taeisha Black is stellar at coloring hair. Book a consultation with her to discuss your options.

Tip 3 – Following your hair color process, make sure to have a deep conditioning treatment as hair coloring by its nature is very drying and strips the hair of its natural oils. You want to replace these oils by having hot oil treatments and  great conditioning treatment.

Tip 4 – And for those who are wearing your silver hair, use silver boosters to enhance and help your silver sparkle.

 

 

 

How To Make Your Hair Pop or Bounce!

Recently I’ve been receiving compliments on my hair from the most unexpected people. What’s the difference? I believe the warm seasons may have something to do with it. People are most apt to stop and take notice of things when it’s warm outside, things they could care less about when it’s cold. But the truth of the matter is, all year long, I’m consistent with my hair rituals and doing what is best for my hair. It’s causes my hair to pop and shine in every season. Below are the hair rituals that I live by.

First things first, hair cuts!  I keep to a strict schedule of getting my hair trimmed/cut every 8-12 weeks. This adds such vibrancy to the hair. With only healthy hair on your head, your hair is sure to bounce if it’s long and pop if it’s short.

Often when wearing short hair, it’s often assumed you do nothing to enhance your hair. This couldn’t be further from the  truth! When your hair is short like mine, friends and strangers alike may not realize that you’ve had a trim, they have no idea what’s giving your hair so much life. This is equally true of short natural hair, when you receive a real haircut, your hair will not only be more vibrant, it will also look an feel more lively and vibrant.

The second thing that I am diligent about is hydration. I make sure my hair experiences water everyday. I do this by allowing my hair to get wet when showering. When showering, my hair doesn’t get soaked (unless I intend to shampoo it) but it is lightly exposed to the water. If I’m taking a bath and not showering, then I hydrate by using a spray bottle to lightly spritz my hair.

The hydration that occurs from wetting the hair (and while it is still damp) makes it easier for any product to perform better on your hair, whether its an oil, cream or gel; it will allow the product to go beyond the surface of the hair and penetrate into the deeper levels. On a weekly basis I use our Luscious Curling Cream. Ahhh Curling Cream, it is to hair what butter is to a cake. It creates moistness, richness and shine. After shampoo and conditioning, applying Curling Cream is  a must. I love the way it defines my texture and my natural curl pattern. I shingle it through out my hair, and this causes my hair feel richer, thicker and more radiant.

For daily basis maintenance, I use our Leave-In-Conditioner. While it’s great to wet your hair on a daily basis to keep it hydrated, the water naturally evaporates. Using a Leave-In-Conditioner (especially one that is cream based) helps to extend the hydration throughout the day. But much like brushing your teeth, a Leave-In-Conditioner has to be applied daily.  The Leave-In- Conditioner is not needed on the same day that you apply the Curling Cream. Because the Curling Cream is rich and a little heavy, once a week application is sufficient.  Then use the Leave In Conditioner the following days to reactivate and daily hydrate.

I have always believed that one of the most attractive features of any hairstyle is a healthy hairline. I am a fierce protector of my hairline. Years of all kinds of braids, twists, Locs styles and extensions, and I have never lost any of the hair around my hairline. At Khamit Kinks, we are stickers about protecting our client’s hair. And if the hairline is healthy, it’s an indication, that the rest of the hair is strong and healthy.

One of my grooming practices I’ve never shared this publicly or privately is that… I groom my hairline! As a child coming up in the south, we called it taking care of your “baby hair” (showing my age here). Haha! Yes, I’ve been grooming my baby hair since I started doing my own hair as a tween; today it’s called edge control.  But back in the day, in High School, I would use the thick and pasty Nu-Nile. But today I use the light and gentle Soft Set Gel, to give my hairline a lovely, naturally framed look, by smoothing down the hair that frames my face, my baby hair. It’s subtle but it adds that extra something! I’m not trying to be like FKA twigs, you know, just a little something, something. Using natural, botanical based products with essential oils and vitamins that feed that hair is what we offer in our products.

That’s it! Those are my tricks to make short hair pop and shine and long hair bounce.  You too can receive plenty of compliments on your hair by following these rituals.

  1. Regular haircuts
  2. Lubricating the hair and scalp with natural oils
  3. Moisturizing with Curling Cream
  4. Hydrating with a Leave-In-Conditioner
  5. Using a Soft Set Get to hold the hairline or for any soft hold of the hair.

PS – Hair photo of Khamit Kinks client and dear friend, Nicole A. Taylor, the beautiful sister who inspired me to get the updated version of the Nola Darling hair cut.

 

The End of The Line

It has not been easy for me to admit this to myself, let alone anyone else. But I can no longer delay informing you that after much consideration I have decided to discontinue the Anu Essentials Line of Hair Products with the exception of the Hair Oils. Our botanically infused Hair Oils have been handmade by yours truly since 1980 and will continue on.

In the current stock there are just a dozen or so of the Deep Conditioner and a couple of dozen of the Nourishing Gel Shampoo and Moisture Rich Conditioner. But due to a recent delivery there is enough Leave-In-Conditioner, Luscious Curling Cream and Soft Set Gel to last through the spring and summer. Yes, I know. I’m more heart broken than you can imagine over this reality. But at this point I must cut my losses.

My focus now is on my true love, botanical elements (herbs and essential oils) and all the ways I can infuse them into our lives. This includes Body Care, Essential Oil remedies (soon to come) mood enhancers that include our Refresh and Spiritual Spritzers, Perfumes and semi-precious, gem stone jewels. We will also be offering unique home and environment fragrances to enliven, cleanse and enhance your breathing space. It is our plan to expand in all the above categories.

As one who has been studying the healing arts for many years, I have studied Chinese Medicine, I am a Certified Yoga Instructor, and Reiki Practitioner, the desire to heal is a part of my DNA.  The infusion of herbal based beauty and environmental care products of Anu Essentials are an extension of my desire to offer natural healing solutions that beautify and inspire. I will be turning 60 years young this month and what better time than now to fulfill my soul’s desire to heal and beautify using the gifts from God, via nature?

Anu Prestonia – Yoga photo session, summer 2016

I would like offer my heart felt appreciation to all those who have supported Anu Essentials line of Natural Hair Products over these four years. We encourage you to stock up on the Hair Products you like most, while they last. I have! Due to the quality and cost of manufacturing the products, there will be no sale or reduction of prices.

Last but not least, Great News!!! We are very excited to inform you we will be launching a new Anu Essentials website in July.  Stay tune.  And Many Thanks!

 

 

Liquid Jewels

This photo was taken during a particular moment of inspiration.  While bottling our Hair and Scalp Oils all at once I was enchanted by the colors of the oils and I wanted to try my hand at capturing their beauty with my camera. Often when we’ve been around something for years, in my case over 30 years, it becomes easy to believe we know everything there is to know and experience about that thing, that there will be no more surprises. Then out of nowhere, magic, you’re seeing this familiar thing with fresh eyes. 

I noticed within the colors of these oils there are nuances because they are natural.  Each batch is unique, their essences with their particular colors are produced from elements over time that are provided by nature.  Unlike synthetic oils that are static, nature lives, breathes and changes from one day to the next, and often from one moment to the next, just as we do.

Natural oils amaze me.  Their “liquid-ness”, the way they glide over surfaces, they way they offer easement.  I find them magical!  With base oils such as castor, olive, almond, safflower for example the oils that are thicker in weight take longer to pour while some others splash out more easily.  It’s as if each has its own personality. Then there are the botanical oils.  That’s where the accelerated and deeply mysterious experiences occur.  Oh, the aromas, the colors!  There is the viscous nature of each.  Some are thin and light while others can be as thick as paste and dark as tar with hints of blues or greens.  Each one is like a journey to the land from which they hail.  Lavender used in our Herbal Hair Oil is from France.  The citruses for the Golden Blossom are from Italy, Florida, and China, while the ylang ylang is from Madagascar.  Resins used in the Honey Suckle Peru balsam are from Peru and benzoin is from Indonesia.  In our Medicinal Hair Oil we have rosemary from Morocco, tea tree oil from Australia, thyme from Turkey, and the list goes on and on, from all over the planet.  Each of these locations provides a specific kind of environment that is conducive for these specific plants to grow, thrive and be harvested.  Side bar: climate change is affecting all plant life.  In some cases vastly reducing availability and thereby, increasing prices.

Resin drops on a apricot tree trunk. Macro shot.
Resin drops on a apricot tree trunk. Macro shot.

Back to the colors… Our Honeysuckle scented with resins are rich earthen in color, the Herbal scented with lavender is an emerald green, the Golden Blossom scented with citrus oils has a bright orange hue, the Medicinal with all its herbs has a base of olive oil which presents as greenish brown and the Green Tea, is nearly clear.  Each liquid jewel seduces me with its own unique brand of beauty and I was inspired to lay them in my garden and capture them with my camera.  “Click!” Captured.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Tips For Healthier Hair from a Health Coach

African American woman holding bell peppers and vegetables at supermarket

 

If you’re struggling with breaking, shedding, dry and/or dull hair, you are reading the right article! Many people believe the “right” product and the “right” stylist is all that’s needed for healthy and beautiful hair. But the cold, hard truth is that’s only PART of the equation. What you are feeding – or NOT feeding – your body counts for a whole lot!

Our hair (nails and skin too!) are often an early sign of what’s going on inside our bodies. Assuming your hair care regimen is top-notch, if you’re noticing too much shedding or split ends it could be a sign of nutrient, healthy fat and/or protein deficiency. And before you reach for those hair/nail vitamins – do your research! Not all supplements are created equally AND every person is different so just because Jane noticed an improvement after starting on “hair vitamins” doesn’t mean you’ll experience the same improvement!

The health of your hair is pretty much the same as the health of your body – what’s good for your hair, is also good for the rest of you. That’s comforting news since addressing one, addresses the other at the same time with no special attention need be given!

Here are some tips to creating the ideal environment for the healthy hair we all want:

  1. Eat healthy fats! Gone are the days of low-fat, no fat foods. If you have them at home, throw them away – they often contain lots of sugar, sodium and other nutrient-robbing additives and preservatives. Replace these with healthy fats from olives, extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil or full-fat coconut milk, avocado, nuts and seeds.
  1. Hydrate! If you’re drinking more coffee/tea, juice, soda and alcohol than water, you’ve got work to do! You can’t expect healthy hair with dehydrated cells. How much water should you intake? I generally recommend to my clients a goal of 60-80oz per day depending on activity levels and climate. Keep in mind, that’s a MINIMUM intake – ideally, you’d be drinking closer to 90oz per day but I’m all about taking it slow and improving over time.
  1. Quality protein! And no, this does not just include meat! For those of you who are vegans or vegetarians, there are lots of quality protein to choose from – brown rice, quinoa and buckwheat; sea vegetables like spirulina and nori; nuts, seeds and legumes. For the carnivores among us (I’m included in this camp!) think QUALITY over QUANTITY! Organic and pasture-raised meat and dairy should be the goal. I understand they can be expensive but you can find good sales on this type of meat from your local farmer’s markets, Trader Joe’s, Co-Ops and yes, even Whole Food’s has good sales pretty regularly. I’ll go one step further and recommend this: when you can’t afford organic meat, go vegetarian instead – it’s less expensive, equally delicious and really good for you.
  1. Get probiotic! You’re probably wondering what the heck probiotics have to do with hair care and in a word: EVERYTHING! A healthy gut is dependent upon a diverse and happy ecosystem of bacteria, fungi and other microbes that live there. Vitamins and minerals are absorbed and/or synthesized in the gut. To put it simply: healthy gut = your cells get more vitamins and minerals; healthy cells = healthy hair (all other factors being equal and working well that is).
  1. Reduce your intake of nutrient robbing food. In addition to the empty calories and unhealthy fat you’re getting from your chips, cookies, soda and other highly-processed foods, you’re robbing your cells (and thus your hair) of much needed nutrients like calcium, zinc, magnesium and sulfur. These are all minerals required for healthy hair (and nails). Sugar is a big stealer of these nutrients so reducing your sugar intake is critical.

As I mentioned before, not only will you improve the quality and look of your hair by incorporating these tips, you should also see improvement in your skin, energy and weight!   That’s a good deal by anyone’s standards!

Chinyere Williams is a Certified Holistic Health & Nutrition Coach practicing right here in Brooklyn, NY. Her company, Helping Bodies Heal was created to end the confusion, overwhelm and frustration experienced by so many who struggle with their weight, chronic diseases or simply those not sure how to create a healthier lifestyle. Learn more about Chinyere by watching this 35 second video: http://helpingbodiesheal.com/about-chinyere/