All Articles Tagged "black hair care"

Black Hair Care Companies Set Their Sights On Markets Abroad

March 24th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

From Styleblazer

Black women are big business when it comes to hair care. According to the Mintel report, African Americans spent a whopping $684 million dollars on hair products in 2013, a number that doesn’t include the billions dropped on weaves, tools, appliances, and at beauty supply stores. It’s a lucrative market, one that until recently was controlled by multinational conglomerates who acquired many of the formerly Black owned hair care companies such as SoftSheen-Carson laboratories. The trend of Black women embracing textured hair changed that game. Sensing the shift, independent African American manufacturers were quick to create and market products designed to nourish textured tresses.

Now that the natural hair movement is a full-blown revolution, mainstream companies have turned their attention to the changing preferences of Black women.

For more on this story, click through to our sister site, Styleblazer.

The First Lady Says Obamacare Can Treat Curling Iron Burn

December 24th, 2013 - By Madame Noire
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Obamacare Can Treat Curling Iron Burn

Dennis Van Tine/Future Image/


From The Grio

uring an interview with The Black Eagle‘s Joe Madison, Michelle Obama discussed some reasons why black people need healthcare.

Madison brought up the likelihood of athletic injuries as one reason to sign up, and the first lady added, “you could burn yourself badly on a curling iron.”

Listen to the First Lady’s interview on how  Obamacare can treat a curling iron burn, at

5 Ways To Get Those Missing Edges Back

December 11th, 2013 - By Meghan Reid
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Whether your hair is natural or relaxed, making sure it’s healthy is what’s important. We’ve all seen women with missing edges, thinning edges, or receding edges, dry hair, or completely damaged tresses — all of which remind us we need to be a bit more diligent in our own hair care routines.

Healthy hair is achievable with proper maintenance and by using products that work for your texture and needs. Excessive heat is never good and neither is over manipulation. If you’re hair is in a state of shock, don’t fret! There are ways to transform dry hair that is prone to breakage and protect and regrow thinning edges.


Chill on the weaves

Weaves can be your best friend or your worst enemy if you don’t learn to take breaks. A sew-in is a beautiful style, but rocking sew-ins all year round can strain your hairline causing missing edges. Ask your stylist about different techniques that can be done to save your hairline. For example, tiny cornrows may not be best if your hair is already thin, or maybe a net should be used instead of sewing directly into your braids.

Oldies, But Goodies: 3 Classic Hair Products With Staying Power

September 12th, 2012 - By Tuere Randall
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Beauty products come and go. If you’re a product junkie, like myself, then you probably get a real rush from trying out the many new and exciting products with the latest exotic ingredients (marula oil, anyone?) But even with the myriad products to test out, there are a few that seem to keep making their way back into the seemingly endless rotation of hair potions bursting out of our overstocked beauty cabinets. Here are a few that may have found a “forever” home in your beauty closet:

Palmer’s Hair Success Gro Treatment

There’s something about this St. Joseph’s Children’s Aspirin colored hair cream, with it’s pleasant, but not quite identifiable smell, that turned me into a believer decades ago. Enriched with good-for-your-hair ingredients such as vitamin E, hydrolyzed silk protein and biotin (and even a few not-so-good ones: mineral oil and propylparaben to name a couple), this works wonders to seal hair after moisturizing with the leave-in of your choice, and keeps hair moist and shiny for days. It’s great for those fragile ends in particular. No matter how many wonderful hair butters I try and love, I always eventually come creeping back to this one.

Call Me Prejudiced, But I Only Let Black Women Do My Hair

June 27th, 2012 - By Alissa Henry
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"Black Hair Salon"


A few years ago, I was at a local hair school and flat out told the receptionist (loud enough for everyone to hear) that I would wait all day if it meant waiting on a black girl to do my hair. It was not my proudest moment, but I admit I have a serious complex when it comes to letting women who are not black style my hair.

I’ve been that way ever since “the hair incident”. It happened when I was seven years old. I had a thick mane that reached the middle of my back. My mom would braid my hair, put it in ponytails and press it with a hot comb, but her hard work rarely lasted past recess as I had dreams back then of being the first girl in the NFL and used touch football games with the boys on the playground to practice. I was a roughhouser, but I wanted my hair straight. Looking for an easier way to manage my hair, my mom let her white friend Christina – who was a licensed cosmetologist and had been doing my hair for the past year and a half – put in a relaxer.

I remember sitting under the dryer that fateful day and I reached up to feel the top of my hair. It was rock hard as though she had smoothed a thick layer of ProStyles black hair gel from my roots to my ends. I tipped the hooded dryer up and whispered to my mom, “My hair feels hard.” Overhearing, Christina replied, “It shouldn’t feel hard.”

I don’t remember much else after that, but my mom says, later she was combing my hair and immediately noticed it was falling out in chunks. In addition, I was completely bald around the edges.  My mom says my hair felt hard and jagged and she had never seen anything like it. She asked her friend what happened and Christina said she “got a hold of a bad perm”. She hypothesized that maybe the “Super” was in the “Regular” container. All I know is, I haven’t seen Christina since.

Not wanting to go completely bald at any point, a new (black) hairstylist helped me transition. She eventually cut off the scraggly, damaged, ends when my new growth finally reached my shoulders about a year later. By the time I was in 5th grade, the remnants of the relaxer that destroyed my hair were gone, but the memory of the white woman who did it was not and I swore my allegiance to black hairstylists from then on.

Lately though I’ve been wondering if this stance has any merit. There are scores of black women who will tell you about the time a relaxer damaged their hair — and that relaxer was applied by a black woman. In my case, I assume my stylist didn’t have any experience applying chemicals to black hair, (how else would she have accidentally applied a Super?) but does that mean all white women don’t know what they’re doing when it comes to black hair?

One day, probably fifteen years after the hair incident, I let a white girl wash and flat iron my hair.  My roots weren’t completely dry when she flat ironed my hair, so, of course, about 30 minutes after leaving the salon it was like I never went.

I had the same experience with a girl whose nationality I cannot pinpoint. Then, I had a great experience with a white beautician in a Walmart salon. I initially refused to let her do my hair, but she told me a license is a license and promised that she could straighten anyone’s hair. Reluctant but desperate, I let her give it a try. She washed; deep conditioned, blow-dried and flat-ironed my hair in 60 minutes flat. I was impressed, but I am still not totally convinced.

My instant reflex is to firmly decline when a white girl (or someone who isn’t black) offers to do my hair. I know that it was only one serious incident and others have had poor results from black cosmetologists as well, but I just cannot sit comfortably when the person doing my hair isn’t a black female. Is this a form of discrimination or just common sense? All black hair isn’t created equal and I know that just because a person is black doesn’t mean she knows what she is doing with my hair in particular; but I am about one thousand times more willing to try my luck with a black hairstylist than a non-black hairstylist. If it helps, I don’t let men do my hair either.

What do you think? Do you let people of other nationalities do your hair?

Alissa Henry is a freelance writer living in Columbus, OH. Follow her on Twitter @AlissaInPink or check out her blog This Cannot Be My Life

More on Madame Noire!

Stop The Breakage! 7 Ways To Avoid The Brittle and Embrace The Softness

June 20th, 2012 - By MN Editor
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Hair breakage can range from mild to horrifyingly severe. Just recently, I was a victim of the very severe kind after I decided to highlight half of my head a very light brown. In the months after, as I witnessed large clumps of hair falling out in the shower, and seeing the short stubs of my hair spread around my hair, I took some major action. But now, these new habits are part of my routine to prevent breakage and keep my hair healthy.

1. Get regular protein treatments  Now that I’ve experienced the wonders of protein treatments, I don’t understand why they’re not more popular. I immediately went to the salon after my initial breakage and asked for a protein treatment. A good protein treatment coats your hair in protein and specifically strengthens your hair to prevent any further breakage. Because of its potency, stylists recommend getting them at least six weeks apart.

2. Deep Condition  In general, if your hair is moisturized and conditioned well, it will not break. Simple, right? Obviously, your hair would be prone to breakage if it’s dry and brittle. To avoid that, make sure you deep condition your hair regularly. There are a myriad of options in deep conditioning products – just make sure you allow the conditioner to sit on your hair while you sit under a dryer. The heat will help the conditioner penetrate your strands. If you don’t have a dryer, simply wrap up your hair in a plastic cap and get to moving around, doing chores around the house. Hey, any body heat will  help!

3. Use a wide toothed comb  If you haven’t adopted the wide toothed comb, why haven’t you? These combs are great because they detangle and minimize the stress on your hair. When dealing with your tresses, the idea is to treat it well without putting too much tension or stress on it.

4. Lay low on the heat I know you love to blow dry, flat iron and curl your hair on the regular but just know, the less heat you use, the better. Blow dryers and flat irons are not gentle on your tresses so if you’re in a delicate state, the heat will definitely not help matters. Try to look into low-heat to no-heat styling options.

5. Oil gently. Investing in a great and light hair oil has done wonders for me. Every night I use jojoba oil and comb it through my hair before I wrap it. Of course, the idea here is to avoid dryness and promote soft and moisturized tresses. It doesn’t matter which oil you use as long as it’s something that’s not too heavy and works well with your own hair.

6. Use a satin pillowcase. This is an oldie but goodie. Cotton is much more harsh on our tresses so to avoid that contact, invest in a satin pillowcase or wrap your hair in a satin scarf.

7. Stay away from chemical treatments. If this is not obvious by now, I’d like to reiterate just how harmful relaxers and coloring treatments can be to your hair’s elasticity. If you’ve already sworn off chemical treatments and are in the process of growing out your hair, it’s important to pay special attention to the line between your natural hair and your processed hair. Carol’s Daughter has a kit specifically designed to treat hair that is transitioning from relaxed to natural, which helps reduce the likelihood of breakage. The kit includes an extra gentle cleanser, scalp spray and anti-breakage treatment.


That’s it for me. What are your secrets to keeping your hair healthy?


Saving the Straightened Strands: 6 Tips for Taking Care of Relaxed Hair

May 30th, 2012 - By Kendra Koger
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Dear Readers, we at Madame Noire have heard your requests.  We know that a lot of our hair articles are about natural hair, and a few of our relaxed hair readers were feeling neglected.  I feel you; therefore, I’m giving you an article on taking care of relaxed hair.  Not only banking from my own personal experiences of things not to do, but I also got tips from a few hair consultants.

Okay, first, let’s talk about the basics of our hair.  I learned in a health class once that while a strand of Caucasian hair averages about three breakage points per strand, our hair has twice that, averaging about six to nine.  Therefore, our hair has a higher likelihood of breakage, but by taking proper care of it, it doesn’t have to.  You can have long hair, it’s within your grasp, and here are a few easy ways for you  to attain it.

Oh, and just because we’ve honored your request for a relaxed hair article, we did not honor your request for an article that you don’t have to click through all the pages.  But I promise, if you just take the few seconds to click, you might find some information that will help shape your hair care regimen.

How To Get Stronger, Longer Natural Hair

May 9th, 2012 - By Rich
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Stronger, Longer Hair Challenge

Sponsored by:

Take the Healthy Hair Survey


Today, women are embracing their hair texture, more than ever, and opting to wear their hair naturally. At times it can be a challenge, if you are not using products specifically designed to care for natural hair.   It’s important to note that caring for natural hair needs and deserves the same amount of care as relaxed hair. Regardless of the texture, healthy hair is the first step to stronger hair.

Here are a few tips on caring and maintaining healthy, natural hair:

  • Start with products that are salon-quality and formulated to replenish, repair and prevent breakage, such as the Optimum Care Salon Collection.
  • Protect your hair! If you straighten your hair always use a thermal heat protector such as, Optimum Salon Collection Heat Protection Polisher, on hair before blow-drying. It’s a perfect product for achieving sleek and straight looks without harsh chemicals. It is also perfect for transitioning your hair from relaxed to natural.
  • When blow drying, always work in sections. Divide hair into manageable sections, starting at the nape of the neck working your way toward the front of the head in 2 to 3 inch sections.
  • Styling your Natural Hair – Styling depends on how you want to wear your hair natural, i.e. twists, short natural curly styles or braids.  But in general, always remember that your hair needs Moisture, Moisture and Moisture. Make sure to use products that deeply nourish and condition hair without drying it out.

Tell us some of your natural tips?

Follow Johnny Wright  on twitter @johnny_wright

Johnny is the Celebrity Stylist to First Lady, Michelle Obama, and Artistic Style Director for SoftSheen-Carson Laboratories, a division of L’Oréal USA.  His work has appeared in InStyle, O! Oprah Magazine, Vanity Fair, Vogue, Vogue Italia and on SoftSheen-Carson advertorial campaigns for publications such as Essence, Ebony, Jet and Sophisticate’s Black Hair.


Join the Optimum Stronger, Longer Hair Challenge! Complete the Hair Survey and share your experience in the challenge by commenting below or tweeting us @MadameNoire with the hashtag #StrongerLonger for your chance to be our weekly winner and score amazing Optimum Care products!.

We are looking for the most engaged users. Participate in the challenge, send us your questions… and we could feature YOU on Madame Noire! At the end of the challenge, three Grand Prize winners will receive a salon experience, tons of Optimum Care product, and the opportunity to serve as an Optimum Care blogger. Join us!

Feel free to e-mail us at

Carol’s Daughter Answers: Learning Your Curl Pattern

May 9th, 2012 - By MN Editor
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Now that you have decided to transition, it is important to treat your “new” tresses with tender care- especially if you are not familiar with your natural curl pattern and texture.

The Wash
Conditioning is your new best friend. Many naturalistas find co-washing strands to be the most effective way to clean their hair and without stripping scalp and strands of essential oils. Co-washing is the no-shampoo method of cleaning hair- just “wash” with a good rinse-out conditioner.

When detangling strands, use fingers to find any knots and gently separate the hair first. Apply a good leave-in conditioner and then use a wide-tooth comb for any further detangling or styling.

Natural hair is very porous, which is a great thing because it absorbs moisture like a sponge. However on the flip side, you may find yourself taking extra steps to maintain the moisture level. Beware of creams containing petroleum which serves as a barrier on strands and can make it difficult for hair to receive moisture.
Carol’s Daughter Transitioning Movement.comAdvertisement recommends sealing your hair after you moisturize with a layer of oil. If, for any reason, you are anti-oil, Aloe Vera works just as well.

Night Time
I am sure you cannot wait to say good bye to the nightly wrap and satin scarf, but it is important to protect natural and transitioning strands at night- even if you did the BC. Try a satin bonnet or satin pillowcase for fuss free “sleep prep.”
Styling Note: when using colorful scarves or head bands to accessorize your ‘do and conceal transitioning roots, be sure to select fabrics that are satin, smooth, and will not pull on strands like cotton. Otherwise, your maintenance and night time care will go down the drain.

Strong Hair, Strong Body: Mind, Body & Soul

May 3rd, 2012 - By Rich
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Stronger, Longer Hair Challenge

Sponsored by:

Take the Healthy Hair Survey

Strong hair starts with a strong body. To have growing hair means you are healthy! When people are sick, their hair tends to grow slower or stops growing. Your goal should be to become healthy overall and in turn you will have healthy flowing hair!

The things we do to our body can promote hair growth and prevent hair loss!

Regular exercise can promote hair growth.  By exercising just a short period everyday, we can stimulate hair growth. You don’t have to huff and puff and run six miles. You can walk up and down the stairs instead of taking the elevator or walk to lunch that’s down the street instead of driving.  There are definitely exercises that you can get in without going to the gym or running around the neighborhood. Get creative! You can do this during your lunch break.

Exercising also helps reduce stress, and stress is a precursor to hair loss.  You ever noticed people who are stressed have their hair coming out? Stress is serious and needs to be taken seriously. Exercising releases endorphins, which make you feel better. Mentally feeling better = a happy body! Do something fun! Watch a funny movie! Make sure you are happy and stress free.

*If you ever notice any unusual changes in your body or health, please consult a physician. A lot of things can be prevented when you are working towards fixing your situation.

The key is to promote hair growth and prevent hair loss at the same time! Drink 8 glasses of water a day! Exercise at least 30 minutes a day (even at work) and make sure you are feeling great mentally!


Join the Optimum Stronger, Longer Hair Challenge! Complete the Hair Survey and share your experience in the challenge by commenting below or tweeting us @MadameNoire with the hashtag #StrongerLonger for your chance to be our weekly winner and score amazing Optimum Care products!.

We are looking for the most engaged users. Participate in the challenge, send us your questions… and we could feature YOU on Madame Noire! At the end of the challenge, three Grand Prize winners will receive a salon experience, tons of Optimum Care product, and the opportunity to serve as an Optimum Care blogger. Join us!

Feel free to e-mail us at

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