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.