New Year, New Natural Do

New Year and New Natural Hairdo
ESSENCE.COM Dec, 29, 2008

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As the new year approaches, start it off by rejuvenating your skin inside and out. It’s important to drink plenty of water; if your body is hydrated your skin and scalp will be too. Don’t over-oil your hair because your scalp needs to breathe. Try using natural oils to restore any dullness your locks may have from winter-weather conditions. This gorgeous Afro is maintained by having the hair trimmed on a regular basis for a full, even-body look.

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What you put on your body is as important as what goes in your body. Start the New Year off right by using only the best products for your hair. Ojon Restorative Hair Treatment is uniquely concentrated, versatile hair rejuvenator that contains 100 percent Ojon palm nut oil to improve the condition of damaged, color-treated or processed hair ($55, drugstore.com).

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The secret to great natural curly locks is getting the right cut and using products suited for your hair texture. We love this effortless-looking curly style. Start by using a shampoo like Wash & Curl ($4.29, sallybeauty.com) that is formulated to enhance curl definition. After shampooing, allow your hair to air-dry for optimal body and bounce.

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Protect the hair from dehydration and external aggressions by moisturizing your curls with the Ouidad Moisture Lock Leave-in Conditioner. We suggest working a palm-size dab of the conditioner through partially damp hair. To maintain your beautiful bounce, air-dry your marvelous mane to allow the conditioner to saturate the hair from root to tip. The end result is luscious curls that look and feel smooth ($22, ouidad.com).

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You can replicate this eclectic curly style by braiding your hair at night for length and texture. Stylist Sabine Bellevue (sabineshallway.com) suggests braiding your hair into large plaits at night and then releasing them for a mile-high do.

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Organic ROOT Stimulator Hair Mayonnaise ($9.99, walgreens.com) is the product that will help you to retain healthy hair with nothing but the best natural ingredients. Whole egg protein, safflower oil, soybeans and amino acids will be saturated throughout the hair to strengthen your strands from top to bottom. Add an egg to this mayo for a more severe treatment. We suggest using a shower cap to lock this potion in your hair for 30 minutes. Wrap a towel over the shower cap to seal in heat to a deep-penetrating effect.

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Who says you can’t have a little fun with your cropped natural? Use this look as inspiration to add a bit of spice to your do in the new year. We suggest merely highlighting the tips of your strands to avoid overpowering your face with color. To keep color treated strands healthy, we recommend you condition with a product like PhytoSpecific Energizing Concentrate ($28 for a pack of four, fine department stores nationwide) for strengthening and lasting radiance.

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This softening soufflé (Miss Jessie’s Curly Buttercreme, $32, missjessies.com) has become a cult favorite of curly-haired women across the globe. The buttercreme, with a cool peppermint scent, is an excellent styling aid for two-strand twists and taming hairline edges.

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To achieve this funky do, twist your lightly damp strands at night for texture and release in the morning. Finger-comb into place, spray with hydrating oil sheen and you’re ready to go. Consider a sheen like Organic Root Stimulator’s Olive Oil Nourishing Sheen Spray for optimum results without weighing down your hair.

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This spiral-curled style is far from dreadful and offers diversity to amber-colored locks. Even more diversity can be obtained by pinning up the back for a sleek updo or pulling up into a pretty ponytail with a decorative band. Insider tip: many locked sisters maintain their tresses with fresh aloe vera gel straight from the plant as a natural alternative to harsh, chemically-loaded products.

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Fab celeb hair stylist Dickey – his clients include Kelis and Alicia Keys – has blessed us with a superb line of hair care products. One standout product from this line is this ultra-moisturizing cream (Kinky Curling Cream, $20, hairrules.com) that helps transform dry, brittle strands into healthy, curly spirals.

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So short, so chic. Start 2009 off with a bang by rocking a natural close cut like our model here. But don’t be fooled into thinking that this type of cut doesn’t require maintenance. The key to keeping a style like this in tip-top shape is moisture. We suggest using a budget-friendly extra virgin olive oil for at-home hot-oil treatments in between salon visits for maximum hydration.

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