Saturday, February 28, 2009

How to Care for Natural Black Hair

With more exposure and styling options for natural black hair, more men and women need information on maintaining a healthy scalp and hair. Wearing your hair chemical-free can be liberating and save you time and money in the long run. By practicing a pampering hair care routine, your natural black hair can be healthy
Step1:Maintain a regular routine for hair care. Even though many people lead busy lives, you should factor in caring for your hair to keep it healthy. This doesn't mean you have to go to a salon if you don't want to. Many people can take care of their natural black hair themselves.

Step2:Shampoo and condition on a regular basis. Traditionally, many African-Americans, especially those who straightened their hair, avoided water as much as possible, but with natural hair, water is your friend. It's important to keep natural black hair well-moisturized as it has a tendency to be dry. Water is the best moisturizer, which is why infrequent shampooing can lead to dryness.

Step3:Shampoo when you have ample time. Try not to shampoo your hair if you're in a hurry. Although natural black hair often appears strong and coarse, it's actually quite delicate and should be handled with TLC to avoid breakage. Shampoo in the shower, letting the water saturate your hair. You may need to gently comb your fingers through for even saturation. Concentrate on cleansing your scalp, using the balls of your fingers, not the nails, to rub the shampoo in. Letting your hair maintain a downward direction, work the shampoo downward, but don't rub it into the ends of your hair.

Step4:Rinse and squeeze excess water out of your hair. Comb conditioner through while hair is wet. Begin at the bottom of your hair and work your way upward, combing out tangles as you work your way to your scalp. This is the best way to avoid pulling and breaking your hair. Make sure the conditioner reaches all over your hair. Concentrate on the ends if your ends feel dry.

Step5:Rinse your hair thoroughly. It's best to apply products to hair when it's wet or damp. There are many styling products to choose from. Whenever you can, try to buy products that are as natural as possible. You may have to shop in health stores or look into online vendors. There are quite a few natural black hair sites with product recommendations on them.

Step6:Wear protective hair styles as much as possible. This includes braids, two-strand twists, buns, chignons and French twists. By keeping the ends of your hair protected, you lessen the chance of them drying out. This is especially important in the winter if you live in a snowy climate.

Step7:Just say NO Just say NO Use hair-friendly accessories. Any ponytail holders or scrunchies that have metal on them should be avoided. The metal can pull on your hair. Wearing cotton accessories can be drying. Use accessories with smooth materials such as satin or silk to keep the moisture in your hair. Sleep in a satin cap or on a satin pillowcase to retain moisture as well.

Step8:With pampering and TLC, your natural black hair can be abundantly healthy. Just use gentle products and gentle handling.

Monday, February 16, 2009

How to Grow Long Black Hair

Some women desire long hair and a few men even prefer it. However, growing long hair is difficult for some people, especially African-American women. Yet, there are several tips and techniques to help you grow long, beautiful black hair. The key is adopting a few healthy habits.


Trim hair every six to eight weeks. To maintain and grow long black hair, trim your hair every six to eight weeks to remove split ends. Take off less than half an inch.


Keep your hair moisturized. It's vital to maintain your hair's moisture. Apply a moisturizing conditioner after each shampoo and massage hair moisturizer into the scalp daily. To retain moisture, wrap your hair in a satin scarf every night.


Limit the amount of chemicals applied to your hair. If you receive chemical relaxers and hair color, limit these to once every six to eight weeks. Excessive chemicals can damage hair and cause breakage.


Take hair growth supplements. While there are ways to naturally maximize hair growth, you may need to experiment with supplements. Hair supplements contain vitamins and minerals essential for healthy hair. If your hair is badly damaged, cut it off and start over.


Visit a hair stylist on a regular basis. There's nothing wrong with doing your own hair. However, if you want to grow long black hair, you may need a professional's help. Regular shampoos, conditioners and hair treatments are proven to strengthen African-American hair and maximize growth.


Wear a swim cap. Before jumping into a swimming pool, put on a swimming cap. The chemicals used to filter the water can strip your relaxer and damage your hair. After swimming, wash and condition your hair.


Choose a hands-off hair style. Applying heat and chemicals can weaken African-American hair. If you want to grow long black hair, choose a hassle free hairstyle such as an updo, twist or braids. You can wear the same hairstyle for weeks, and give your hair a break. Stay away from rubber bands.

Monday, February 9, 2009

How to Care for Relaxed Black Hair

Caring for relaxed black hair can be somewhat of a challenge, but with a consistent hair care regimen it can be very manageable.

Step1: Before a relaxer, do not scratch the scalp or allow water to come in contact with the hair within 72 hours. This will reduce burning and irritation.

Step2: For best results, a licensed beautician should apply a no lye relaxer to straighten the roots of the hair.

Step3: The chemicals applied to the scalp should not sit for a long time, be aware of how long the chemical has been on the hair before rinsing it out. When burning occurs it's time to rinse.

Step4: Rinse with warm water and apply a neutralizer to deactivate the chemicals.

Step5: Using a cleansing shampoo with a built in moisturizer, thoroughly wash the scalp and hair.

Step6: Apply a conditioner and put on a plastic cap.

Step7: Sit under the dryer for 15 minutes.

Step8: Rinse out the conditioner with cold water (as not to strip the moisturizer out completely).

Step9: Towel dry.

Step10: Hair is most vulnerable to damage when wet, use an anti-static or ionic hair brush to comb through without causing damage to hair.

Step11: Apply a light setting lotion before applying rollers for better hold.

Step12: Dryer Dryer Sit under a bonnet style dryer for rolled or straight hair until dry. A bonnet style dryer will help reduce frizz verses naturally drying or using a blow dryer.

Step13: Remove rollers and style or use a curling iron or flat iron to style. For black or course hair, use a ceramic flat iron that heats up to at least 400 degrees, for best results.

Step14: Spray with a light holding spray.

Step15: To maintain styled black hair, use minimum repeated heat to reduce damage.

Step16: At night use a satin cap or bonnet to maintain body.

Step17: For styling, use a wide tooth comb to reduce pulling hair.

Step18: For added shine, spray with a light sheen once or twice a week. Do not use heavy oils, grease, creams, or gels. These weigh the hair down reducing body, bounce, or can cause extra flaking.

Step19: For a healthy scalp wash and condition hair once a week.

Step20: Keep hair trimmed to promote growth and maintain body.

How to Care for Hair Extensions

Hair extensions are wonderful. You can add length to your hair or a beautiful streak of color. They can cover a bad cut or color and tie your hair in a ponytail. With all the glorious things they can do, can you return the favor? Proper care of extensions ensure they'll be around for a while.

1. Wash your extensions. Gently! Your fake hair soaks up oils made by your head naturally. This can make your extensions greasy and fibers may fall out. To wash them, soak it in warm water in the bathroom sink. Cover them with a clarifying shampoo and rinse out with cold water. Do not comb or brush extensions when wet because this will rip out hairs and lead to a shorter life for them.

2. Keep them moisturized, especially when you style extensions often. When your extensions are dry, comb a little bit of leave-in conditioner evenly. Don't overdo it because they'll become greasy easier than your natural locks.

3. Make extensions tangle-free. Never untangle dry extensions with a comb. Soak them in cool water and untangle with a wide tooth comb. If absolutely necessary, you can brush out tangles in dry hair, but never use a comb.

4. Only use stylers when your extensions are dry. Never blow dry extensions. You can always put them in when the rest of your hair is dry. If necessary, curl and straighten extensions for about half the time it takes the rest of your hair. Put them on your head when you're done styling your natural hair. This will keep hairs from falling out.
* If you can, get two sets of the same extensions. Keep one pair "just for curling" and one "just for straightening." This will cut down on style time and damage.

5. Only wear extensions in a ponytail if they were made to. Some extensions will fall apart in a ponytail. Read the labeling when buying new extensions to see if you can use them in a ponytail. If it doesn't say whether or not you can, best be on the safe side and not use them in ponytails.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

How to Apply Hair Extensions

Apply Hair Extensions Method:

Long and Flowing

Step 1: Add Inches

Ken swept the model's hair back into a half-ponytail and clipped it from rest of her hair. He then parted the remaining hair lengthwise and attached an 8-inch weft from the Put On Pieces Human Hair Clip in Extension 14-inch set, near the part, securing the center clip first, then each side.

Step 2: Build Body

Next, Paves lifted a small section of hair from underneath the ponytail and attached a 1-1/2-inch weft directly beneath it. Bringing the same small section of hair back over the extension, he then attached a second 1-1/2-inch weft above it. This gave the hair more thickness and volume.

Step 3: Natural Tie

"It's important to incorporate pieces of your own hair as you style the extensions," Paves told us as he took pieces of the model's hair and the extensions and curled them together. Hot tools can be used on human hair extensions but never on synthetic pieces.

Step 4: Long and Luscious

Finally Paves attached a Long Curls Pinup Piece, (Or try Scunci 20-inch Curly Hair clip) into the base of the ponytail, between the elastic and where the hair gathered. He fluffed out the piece with his fingers, then applied some hair spray to lock the style in place.

The Finished Look

Here, the finished look is a voluminous mane with added length

Tips for How to Grow Your Hair Long

There is no instantaneous method for growing hair, but conscientious application of sound hair strengthening practices will help your locks achieve their longest potential.
Prepping for Long Hair:

To begin growing long hair, the hair must first be healthy. It may seem counterproductive to start a quest for longer hair with a severe cut but it evens out the hair and ensures stunning results with minimal damage. Hair that isn’t trimmed prior to long-term growth may look ratty and uneven, and as the damage worsens, more drastic cuts may be required.

To prep your hair for long-term growth:

* Cut damaged areas, including split ends or poorly maintained layers.
* Revert to your natural hair color if possible, or begin using low-impact coloring and dye. Harsh chemical coloring damages hair and can restrict growth.
* Find a stylist experienced with long hair care and appropriate products. If they insist that you cannot grow long hair or that it’s not the style for you, politely decline their services.

Washing Tips:

Hair is delicate and more easily damaged when wet. These tips for washing long hair will help you avoid damage and painful snarls that can stress and break carefully cultivated strands.

* Do not pile the hair on top of your head when washing – this creates tangles. Instead, work the shampoo from the scalp through to the ends carefully with your fingers.
* Choose a shampoo that won’t weigh your hair down. Long hair has significant natural weight, and heavy shampoos will make the hair flat and listless.
* Rinse the hair with cold water to seal the cuticle, thereby minimizing damage. A cold water rinse also leaves hair shiny and sleek.
* Do not towel-scrub wet hair – squeeze moisture out carefully and wrap the hair gently with a towel to remove excess water.
* Do not wash the hair too frequently: letting long hair get dirty occasionally helps spread natural oils through to the ends.

Conditioning Tips:

Long hair needs regular conditioning to rejuvenate strands that may be years old. Conditioning tips for how to grow your hair long include:

* Use a leave-in conditioner with SPF protection to safeguard against sun damage.
* Opt for occasional deep conditioning treatments: once a month for healthy hair; more frequently for delicate or damaged hair.
* Avoid applying conditioner to the scalp where it can clog follicles and inhibit hair growth.

Styling Tips:

Certain hair styles can be extremely stressful and damaging to hair. Styling tips for long hair include:
Long hair takes a lot of care.
Long hair takes a lot of care.

* Avoid tight styles such as micro braids or severe twists that apply pressure to the roots and may damage follicles.
* Avoid styles such as perms or straightening that require harsh chemicals – those chemicals frequently dry and damage hair.
* Opt for loose updos, ponytails, or thick braids to keep hair under control without damage.
* Avoid metal, rubber, or plastic accessories that pinch or snag. Coated accessories are best for encouraging growth.
* Use a natural bristle brush for styling without tugging or pulling. Avoid brushes and combs with bulbous tips or coatings that can break hair.

Care Tips:

How you care for your hair daily can determine whether or not you can grow it long. Additional care tips include:

* Using a satin pillowcase to avoid nightly snarls.
* Trim hair to eliminate split ends every month; regular trims every 2-3 months are recommended to smooth damage.
* If trimming ends yourself, use extremely sharp scissors. Dull scissors can rip the ends of hair and exaggerate damage.
* Avoid heating tools like hair dryers or curling irons as much as possible.
* Opt for natural products whenever possible to avoid excessive chemicals on your hair.
* Avoid contact with chlorine or saltwater – both dry hair out.

How to Grow Your Hair Long from the Inside Out:

No matter how well you care for your hair, it must be healthy on the inside as well as the outside to grow longer. To keep your hair healthy…

* Drink plenty of water for natural moisture.
* Eat a balanced diet or consider taking a multivitamin, particularly one with beta-carotene to encourage hair growth.
* Exercise regularly to stimulate blood flow to the scalp and hair follicles.
* Avoid stressful situations that may prompt hair loss.

Monday, January 26, 2009

How to Make Your Hair Grow Faster

1.Assess the current condition of your hair. Is it healthy, shiny and strong, or has it been damaged from heat, sun, coloring, etc.? You don't want to grow out hair that is damaged and scraggly. If you suffer from split, thin, and dry ends, seriously consider getting a trim to remove as much of the damage as possible. Split ends will not slow down hair growth, as your hair grows from the scalp, but they may prevent length accorring due to breakage of the ends.

2.Look at your overall health and your lifestyle. How is your diet? Do you exercise and sleep enough? Are you under a large amount of stress? If your body is lacking in health, your hair will be lacking as well. Your hair growth rate will be at its maximum when you are at your healthiest and fittest.

3.Make some dietary changes. Hair consists of protein (because hair is keretinized protein) so be sure that you are getting enough. Incorporate foods from all food groups - especially protein. Nuts, poultry, vegetables, fruits, grains, eggs, etc. All contribute to hair health.

4.Consider taking a daily vitamin supplement. There are many options on the market nowadays. Research the multi-vitamins which may work best for you. Other vitamins and minerals that are believed to contribute to hair growth are: biotin, beta-carotene, biosil, B complexes, magnesium, sulfur, zinc, silica, nettle, and flaxseed oil.

A good hair vitamin will contain all of the nutrients necessary for overall health, as well as those specific to hair growth. Biotin and MSM are ingredients every hair vitamin should contain. Biotin promotes cell growth, the production of fatty acids, metabolism of fats, and amino acids. MSM lengthens the hair growth phase. Using a combination of the two is beneficial for healthy hair. Using an amino acid supplement is not necessary for growing longer hair. Amino Acids are the building blocks of protein. They are found in all natural foods, such as meat, eggs, dairy products, vegetables, grains, fruit, nuts, and pulses. Most Americans eat more than enough protein for to supply these amino acids. Only people who do not consume enough calories need to be concerned with their protein intake. So one may assume that using an amino acid supplement can only make hair grow faster.

5. Stimulate blood flow to your scalp. One of the two main ways is by doing cardio. There are many benefits to cardio - staying fit, being healthier, glowing skin, and increased blood flow, which can get rid of strange hues that some people get on their legs and increase hair growth. The other main way of stimulating blood flow is by massaging your scalp. Take the tips of your fingers and massage your scalp all over, for about 5 minutes.

6. Do not over brush your hair and NEVER use a bristled brush, as this will tear and damage your hair. Not to mention it doesn't feel very nice. (Boar bristled brushes, however, are in fact good for your hair as they "maintain good hair condition by keeping it clean, stimulating the scalp and distributing oils for a healthy, glossy look, without ever damaging it or causing split ends." Do not brush your hair when it is wet. Wet hair is very elastic and prone to breakage. De-tangle your hair with your fingers or a wide-toothed comb.

7. Do not over wash your hair. The oils that your scalp produces can be beneficial to the health of your hair. If you wash your hair every day, consider skipping a day or only using conditioner one day instead of both shampoo and conditioner. Shampooing everyday may be necessary for oily hair, but normal hair can get by with shampooing about 2-4 times a week, and dry hair is best when you shampoo about 1-2 a week. Curly hair(types 3A-4C) and some dry wavy hair (2A-2C) can be shampooed as little as once a week, to once every two weeks, because curly hair tends to be dryer.Use a shampoo/conditioner that is right for your hair. For instance, if you have dry, frizzy hair, you should not be using products designed for oily hair. Look into using a leave-in conditioner and/or hot oil treatments. Your local beauty supply store (i.e. Sally's) will have many options to choose from. Make sure to read the directions beforehand!

8. Cut back on the coloring sessions, which will inevitably cause your hair damage. If you must color your hair, look into some of the newer dyes available which offer more moisturizing protection when dying. If you want to dye your hair a shade of red, try dying it naturally with henna. If you want to dye your hair black, you can try dying it with a combination of henna and indigo.

9. Use protective styles, which are hair styles that keep your hair up and unexposed from environmental damage. Some examples would be buns, ponytails, plaits, cornrows, French braids, etc. This is very effective for a person whose hair is above shoulder length, because the hair tends to rub against clothes. Use them loosely, though, as you don't want to yank on your roots and scalp. When pulling back your hair, use smoothbands and clips. Avoid metal clips that can tangle and break hair, and never use bare rubber/elastic bands on your hair or hair bands that contain metal connections.

10. Avoid excessively hot water as well as blow dryers and curling irons. If you must use a blow dryer, invest in a diffuser. Consider wearing a cap or scarf of some sort when outside. Excessive heat/cold, wind and the elements can damage your hair. You may also choose to invest in a silk/satin hair wrap or a silk/satin pillowcase to reduce damage to your hair when you toss and turn at night.