All Articles Tagged "relaxed hair"
Since Kenya Moore’s debut on Bravo’s hit reality TV show, Real Housewives of Atlanta, some ladies have been dying to know whether or not her gorgeous locs are enhanced by extensions or a gift from genetics. On several occasions she let it be known that for the most part, she doesn’t wear weaves or extensions. In a recent interview with Longing for Length, she did, however, reveal that she’s flattered by many people asking if her hair is real.
“I think it’s a compliment. I have healthy hair and people pay for extensions to look like my hair. I interpret that to be flattering for the most part.”
The former Miss USA went on to reveal that she is in the process of a launching a hair care line, in an effort to help other ladies to attain beautiful, healthy and luscious hair.
“I am working on my own hair care line and it’s a culmination of all of my favorite products and ingredients that I have come to love. I ‘m very passionate about hair care and love shiny, healthy hair. My products will first help to repair hair and then strengthen it so it will grow longer.”
In an interview with Untitled Flow late last year, Kenya stressed the importance of healthy hair and discussed being a “natural girl.”
“I think weaves and wigs are perfectly fine. My product line is basically to promote healthy hair. You can wear weaves or wigs if you want to, but you can wear your own hair as well. I’m very serlous about healthy hair. I do have my own hair. It is just hair. I don’t live and die by my hair. I’ve worn weaves for a movie but in my every day life when you see me on the RHOA, it’s all my hair. I don’t have fine textured hair. I have very thick hair. I don’t perm it. I don’t’ relax it. I’m wearing color in my hair right now but I don’t put any chemicals in it other than color. I wash it, let it air dry and flat iron it in small sections and use roller sets. As for everything else, my fans who’ve known me for a long time know that I’m a natural girl.”
But of course, these days it appears that it is nearly impossible for one Atlanta “housewife” to venture into an industry without one of her co-stars on her heels. It has also been announced recently that Porsha Stewart is in the process of launching a line of hair products as well. Last month she tweeted a photo of her younger sister with a caption announcing her upcoming product launch.
Judging by the photo, it seems that Porsha will be launching a line of hair extensions, as opposed to actual hair care products, but I suppose we’ll have to wait and see to know for sure. Maybe she’ll do both?
What do you think ladies? Would you purchase hair products from either of these reality TV stars?
Follow Jazmine on Twitter @jazminedenise.
Are you growing tired of the debate over natural hair versus chemically-treated tresses? Well, Andrea Pippins, a Baltimore-based graphic designer, is so frustrated by the ongoing question of whether women should go natural that she created a four-poster series of prints entitled “Crowns of Color” that not only celebrate natural hair, but all African-American hair choices.
It is all an effort to get black women to celebrate their hair whichever way they want to wear it. “With all due respect, I am personally tired of the natural hair conversation in regards to one having to defend the choice to go natural, encouraging someone to go natural, or speaking to it from a place of political debate,” said Pippins in an interview with Colorlines Magazine [via Clutch Magazine]. “For me, the conversation has totally shifted. Although my work has always been about embracing natural hair it initially came from a place of, ‘You should do it, too.’ I don’t feel that way anymore.”
According to Pippins, hair should be to each her own. “I think women should be able to do what they want as they wish and that they express their beauty in a way that speaks to them. So now I really want to highlight and focus on how beautifully diverse, stylish, innovative and fun our hair really is. I will add though that the re-emergence of natural hair has elevated hair innovation and style to a whole other fabulous level,” she told Colorlines.
In the colorful posters Pippins created, she takes a lighthearted look at the hair debate. They series feature women with various hair styles– relaxed to natural.
What do you think of the posters?
Are you natural and considering going back to relaxed hair? If you’re like me, then you’ve probably been thinking about it quite a bit. It’s been five years since I went natural for the second time around, making it, in total, 10 years of my adult life that I have been wearing chemically untreated hair. And once again, at the five-year mark, I am not-so-quietly yearning for the freedom and ease of relaxed hair. On the other hand, I love the versatility of being able to “switch it up” with my hair and wear it kinky one day and straight the next. However, truth be told, I don’t have the luxury of wearing my hair straight as often as I would like because it takes so much time to get it from its natural state to the sleek, face-framing waves that I find to be so personally flattering.
So as I weigh the options, I started to make a list of things to consider for anyone who is natural and thinking about relaxing their hair again:
Though the black community would have you believe every woman who relaxes her hair hates herself, I think I speak for a lot of us permed ladies out here when I say the choice to slap on the “creamy crack” every so often is more about convenience than contempt of self. That being said, for as many things there are about perming one’s hair that make it easier to maintain, there are still a few inconveniences (read: problems) that come along with opting for this styling choice. Let’s talk about them, shall we?
When most think of the Fall season beautiful autumn leaves, adorable overcoats, and fashion-forward boots come to mind. Something else that seems to go hand in hand with the lovely Fall season is dry, brittle and damaged hair. Lucky for you, this doesn’t have to be your story. Check out these tips on keeping your tresses in tip top shape this Fall.
Deep condition regularly.
This tip probably sounds like the same old broken record playing over and over, but deep conditioning is extremely important to any hair care regimen and even more important during the Fall and Winter months. Having clean hair is extremely important, but while shampooing helps to rid your hair of any impurities, it can also strip your hair of its natural oils leaving hair dry and brittle. Cold weather only seems to worsen these conditions. Moisturizing deep conditioners assist in combatting this issue. Adding a deep conditioner to your haircare regimen may add a few more minutes to your routine, but it is certainly worth it in the long run.
Suggestions: Shea Moisture Organic Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Hair Masque or Miss Jessie’s Super Sweetback Treatment
Getting rid of split and brittle ends that have been damaged by hair summer rays is one of the best things that you can do for your hair this time of year. There are some who suggest that you should trim your ends every six to eight weeks. Then, there are others who believe that trimming your ends that frequently isn’t necessary. I don’t feel that there is one blanket trimming schedule that applies to all women. When you notice that your ends are damaged and splitting, get rid of them.
Learn to not only moisturize, but to seal as well.
As your hair is forced to endure beatings from high winds and cold weather, it tends to dry out a bit. Adding moisture to your hair is great; but it is not enough to keep your hair hydrated.Once you’ve washed or wet your hair, try applying a water based leave-in conditioner or moisturizer and following up with an oil or butter such as coconut oil, grapeseed oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, mango butter or raw shea butter. Water and moisturizers are what add moisture to your hair, but the oils or butters are what seals it in.
Beware of the wool scarves and jackets.
Ugh, wool scarves and jacket collars are guilty of damaging the ends of fabulous tresses across the globe. As temperatures drop, many ladies are reaching for the wool scarves and pea coats. I know the temptation to strut down the street in your fine wool pea coat with with your hair “flowy” and flying in the wind like Sarah Jessica Parker out of an episode of ‘Sex and the City’ but, unless you have a FULL weave or an up-do that style is not for you. Wool causes breakage due to friction, it also has a tendency to deplete your hair of necessary moisture.
Due to the dry condition that the cold weather has a tendency to put hair in, protective hair styles are super helpful. Protective hair styles that require low or no manipulation styles that put hair up and away giving it a break and shielding it from harmful elements, which helps in preventing breakage.
While these tips are applicable to any season, they extremely crucial during the Fall and Winter months.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
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I was never a fan of science class. Even today if someone starts spewing large scientific words, I mentally check out. However the further I delve into maintaining healthy hair, the more I realize that the science of my hair matters. Not only does the science of my hair matter towards keeping it healthy, it matters because it helps to save me money. Being a product junkie isn’t cheap. Nor is running to the store to try every new product because you can’t find the right product that works in your hair. Having a basic understanding of the science of your hair will help you save time, money and some peace of mind. So let’s minimize the hair frustration, get you back some valuable time in your schedule and help keep a few more dollars in your bank account by looking at the 4 basic science tips everyone needs to know about their hair.
1, Your hair and nails are the last part of your body to receive nutrients from your food intake.
Yes it is reaching the point of redundancy to constantly have to read that what you eat affects your hair. But it is of the utmost importance. Because your hair and nails are the last part of the body to receive nutrients, if you are shortchanging yourself by drinking sugary beverages while eating over processed foods, your body will stave off nutrients from your hair to ensure that the rest of your body gets what it needs. So all you ladies skipping out on the broccoli, spinach and water, while heading straight for the Doritos Locos taco and Grande Spice Pumpkin Latte, we’re talking to you.
2. Internal is greater than external.
You could be doing all the right things on the outside to your hair, but your internal well being trumps all of that. If you are experiencing severe stress, going through hormonal changes due to pregnancy of menopause and/or have blood flow problems due to medical issues or lack of exercise – your hair will be affected. We can apply any and all topical products, wear protective styles for 5 years and cease use of any heated products like flat irons. That still won’t trump the impact that your internal well being as on your hair.
3. Maintaining hair at a neutral pH balance is key for all hair types.
Whether relaxed or natural, the pH balance of your hair is important for all. pH balance affects how the cuticle of hair lays and is very integral in the relaxing process. If you want to minimize frizz or prevent your hair from being a poof ball, knowing how the pH level of your hair works is key.
4. The importance of detangling is a scientific fact.
You have to detangle your hair, no way around it. It’s best to detangle hair prior to washing it and you will see a guaranteed change when styling your hair. Detangling your hair prevents excessive shedding, knots, more tangles and frizzy hair. You’re hair goes through three stages of growth on a continuous basis: anagen, catagen and telogen. The telogen stage is the shedding phase. You are continuously shedding hair on daily basis, just as you hair grows on a daily basis. If you have extra curly and/or kinky hair, your shed hairs are prone to get caught in the curls/kinks of the rest of your hair. Detangling your hair will loosen those shed hairs from your head and pull them out without catching them into tangles. Ever had a bunch of string or yarn that was in knots? You get it out of knots by taking strands out individually, same as detangling. Shed hair will tangle and you will shed because of the phases of your hair. Having a good detangling process that you start at the onset of your wash routine will help you out all the way down to styling your hair. Now think of it, all you ladies that fuss over your weaves that tangle and shed, guess how you can prevent that too? Yes girl, detangle it and brush it in a downward motion.
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I’m writing this in response to a comment I read somewhere in cyberspace that one woman made about another woman’s comment regarding natural hair. Apparently the first woman must have said something about natural hair not being for everyone, to which the disgruntled commentator replied, “I don’t understand when people make comments like that! How can natural hair not be for you, it’s the hair you were born with?!!!”
Now, on the one hand, I can somewhat understand this very black and white declaration of frustration. That said, the world is seldom black and white. And not all naturals face the same issues (or at least not to the same degree as others). Here are the 5 (no, not 50) shades of grey that make it quite possible that the hair you were born with might not be for you (long term).
1. You Lead A Very Busy Lifestyle
If you’re like me, you might work a full-time job and then go home and work your side hustle, or maybe the rigors of your job demand long hours spent in the office or in front of a computer. You might even be juggling a career AND family! God forbid that you actually want to have a social life too. The 4 to 5 hours that it takes me to prep, wash, detangle, deep condition, detangle again, and twist my hair makes me yearn for the days of yore when I could spend two hours once a week getting a wash and set with minimal moisturizing maintenance until the next salon visit. You might not have time to fit in all your work, maintain a social life AND moisturize and seal your hair every night, and it’s likely that the hairstyles that make it easiest to care for your hair are not necessarily the ones that you want to wear while out flirting with that cute guy at the bar over cocktails. I personally am tired of feeling like I have to keep a separate appointment book for my hair. Of course this is mostly a problem if you do your own hair, but what if…
2. You Haven’t Found A Stylist You Trust
I have had issues with stylists before. There was the one who took my hair out (and if I see him again, there’s gonna be some furniture MOVING!) I also had a run-in with a woman who came recommended by a friend. Well, she wreaked havoc on my hair. The truth is, all she wanted to do was talk me into getting a texturizer or relaxer because, she said, that would allow my hair to grow to the length it formerly was (before dude jacked my hair up). When I explained that I had mid-back length hair while I was a natural (when pressed) she went behind my back and told my friend that I must have been lying because there was no way my hair could have been that long. I went to her twice, the last time I went, it was a hot summer’s day and by the time I walked the three blocks from her salon to Amoy Couture to inquire about a Brazilian Blowout, the stylists there couldn’t even believe that I had just spent nearly four hours getting my hair done.
For the record, I’m not down on ALL stylists. Since I’ve gone natural, I’ve found a couple that I liked quite a bit at higher end salons (such as Ouidad), but that brings me to number…
3. You Don’t Have The Cash To Splurge On Someone Who Specializes in Natural/Curly Hair
Let’s face it. Going to a natural hair care salon can be pricey, and understandably so! It takes time and patience (two things that many of us are short on) not to tear through those beautiful kinks (and often those dreaded tangles and knots). Natural hair stylists know this and charge accordingly. After all, if it were so easy, you wouldn’t be going to them, would you? NEWSFLASH: there is a reason why many of those natural hair salons (such as Miss Jessie’s) offer “silkeners.” And face it, it’s okay if…
4. You Miss Your Healthy Relaxed Hair
Here’s another newsflash (for some): HEALTHY RELAXED HAIR is NOT an OXYMORON. It is actually possible to have radiant, chemically straightened tresses. And if you like to wear your hair straight frequently, you will do a lot less damage over time relaxing your hair every few months (stretching is key) rather than subjecting your strands to the amount of heat that it requires to achieve, and maintain, straight natural hair (although there are a more than a few sistas out there who have succeeded at the art of “heat-training their hair). Plus, you know if the weather is humid and you have porous hair, this is an exercise in futility anyway. But perhaps the biggest reason of all for not sticking with your natural hair is…
While the natural hair movement has definitely taken off. There are still a lot of black women who prefer to maintain their hair with a relaxer. And many of them feel left out in the healthy hair tips discussion. But is it valid to completely dismiss one with relaxed hair as being incapable of maintaining healthy strands?
It is true that a relaxer is a chemical alteration to your natural hair structure. A relaxer essentially breaks down the disulfide bonds (which make hair curly) in the hair follicle and caps them so that they do not reform, thus causing the hair to be permanently straight. Now while some may refer to relaxers as “controlled damage,” that does not mean that relaxed hair isn’t capable of being maintained as long, healthy hair. If relaxed hair is beyond being healthy, then anyone who colors their hair, another process that breaks the bonds in hair follicles, could also call their strands just as unhealthy.
What really does the most damage to relaxed hair is over-processing while applying the relaxer and the way one treats their hair post-relaxer. The hair typing chart is just as useful to women who wear relaxers as it is to women with natural hair. Therefore, if you understand the texture of your natural hair you’ll have a better understanding of how often to relax your hair and various methods that you can use to stretch your hair in between touch ups. Getting relaxers too often and not giving your scalp and hair a chance to breathe will lead to your hair falling out because it is over-processed. Generally speaking, reapplying less than 3-4 weeks after your last touch-up will lead to over-processing. Also, there is absolutely no need for maximum/super strength relaxers, and you most certainly want to avoid lye relaxers. While it is best to have your hair relaxed by a qualified professional, for some, the at-home applications are the only financial option. Try sticking to ‘kiddie’ perms and be patient when applying it to your hair. Make sure to work it properly and evenly throughout your hair for best results. Don’t just throw an extra strength relaxer into your hair haphazardly, as it will over-process your locks and leave you with burnt clumps of hair. Do not forget about the neutralizing shampoo as well. A relaxer is highly alkaline on the pH balance scale, and neutralizing shampoo is so important because it neutralizes the disulfide bonds mentioned early, stopping them from processing your hair and leaving you with the straight result. Because neutralizing shampoos are acidic (to bring down the alkaline pH balance of relaxers) do NOT use them post washing out your relaxer, as they will overly dry your hair out.
Just as with any other hair texture, the bulk of the damage can be done by how we maintain our hair. Just because one has a relaxer does not mean that they can apply heat to their hair every day, forgo washing it and slather any old product into their hair. It’s even more important for those with relaxers to mind the products that they put in their hair because they don’t want it to further break down the bonds in the hair follicle. Using products that are highly acidic are counterproductive to maintaining a straight relaxer. It’s best to try and maintain hair at a close to neutral pH balance (7 pH) as possible, starting with a good deep-conditioning process that you do regularly. Minimize the amount of brushing and direct heat that is applied to the hair. You already put a relaxer in, there is no need to flat iron it every day.
Lastly, know that any high-alkaline product will cause your hair to straighten. Michelle Obama’s very laid hair has been all the rage at the Democratic National Convention, as it gleams and flows in the spotlight. Word on the curb is that she uses a non-chemical relaxer called PhytoSpecific that contains the organic salt, guanidine carbonate, the same ingredient used in relaxers and Nair (hence why if you over-process your hair, it falls out). For women who are loosening their curls with ‘Silkners’ and texturizers it all comes down to the same process.
You can achieve healthy hair even with a relaxer. It all comes down to having an understanding of your hair, a good dose of patience, and a healthy hair regimen. There’s no quick fix to healthy hair.
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You walk into the beauty supply store looking for the magic cure all to all your hair problems. You spot the glosser, moisturizer, soft-hold, magic grow product and go to grab it. Then you turn it over to read the ingredients and it looks like hieroglyphics. Oh but wait, you see something that closely resembles English…mineral oil. Did you hear somewhere that mineral oil is a no-no. Or was that parabens? Or sulfate? But wait you have relaxed hair, does any of this even matter? With many women trying out a wealth of products to see what works for their texture, it’s important to know what the ingredients are and what they could mean for your hair.
Sulfates come in many forms. The most common type used in shampoos and other cleansing hair products is sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). There is no reliable scientific information pointing to sulfates as a harmful chemical, other than those who have a specific allergy. However, sulfates are used in shampoo because they help to create foam and strip oil from the hair. For many black women, we need all the natural oils we can get in our hair, so completely stripping our strands and scalp every time we wash it is counterproductive to what we are actually trying to achieve, moisture. Also, completely stripping the hair changes the pH balance of your hair. If your goal is to grow your hair, then the pH balance is an integral part to retaining the length of your hair, as the pH impacts the texture and strength of your follicles. There are easy alternative methods to using sulfate shampoos and this is one of the easier ingredients to avoid.
On a side note, Behentrimonium Methosulfate (BMS) is often confused with a sulfate, but it is actually a conditioning agent that some folks swear by and can be purchased locally to add to your conditioners.
Mineral oil is in a TON of hair products. Namely because it is a cheap filler, derived from the distillation of petroleum. Since mineral oil is derived from the same substance as Vaseline many believe that mineral oil clogs the pores, however, studies have found that the mineral oil commonly found in cosmetic products is not comedogenic (clogs pores). Personally, I usually avoid it because its just cheap filler that does nothing more than expand a product.
Women with relaxers or who frequently straighten their hair will like silicone based products because they coat the hair and add a nice slip to tresses, making the hair feel silky. Largely in the natural hair community women try to avoid anything with -cone. However, all silicones are not created equal and it can be hard to distinguish between the good and bad guys as silicones are found in most conditioners, especially deep conditioners. Silicones can be either water-soluble or water-insoluble. It is the insoluble silicones that you want to avoid, like Dimethicone, as they heavily coat the hair and are difficult to remove. Any silicone product that has “amo”, “amine” or “amino” in it, is also a water-insoluble and chemically altered making it difficult to remove from hair. Cyclomethicone is a water-soluble silicone that easily dissolves from hair is often used to leave the silky feeling to your hair.
Parabens offer no benefit to the hair, they are simply cheap preservatives that give products a longer shelf life. On the downside, parabens have been rumored to be linked to breast cancer. The studies are still being debated, but since parabens aren’t much help to the health of your hair, it’s easy to skip out on this ingredient and go for the paraben-free hair products.
Always remember to choose what works for your hair and keep to realistic goals that work for your lifestyle so you won’t put too much faith or too many expectations on a conditioner or butter. Do your research and understand the methods that work for your hair as it’s an ever-evolving experience. If you have any other questions, tweet me @jouelzy.
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In our new series, Relaxed & Real, Mizani stylist Rod Horton offers up a how-to on getting two trend styles: the Starlet and the Protegee. Now, if you want some looks geared towards natural hair, be sure to check out our series Noire Naturals.
Let us know what you think of our new show.
Want more Madame Noire Hair Videos….check out links below:
- Noire Naturals – The Natural Twist Out
- Noire Naturals – Maintaining Your Twist-Out Style
- Noire Naturals – Creating A Sophisticated Elegance
- Noire Naturals – Accessorizing a Sophisticated Updo
- Relaxed & Real – From Daytime To Evening
- Relaxed & Real – How To Prep Your Hair Before A Relaxer
- Relaxed & Real – Protective Styles For Working Out
- Weave Wisdom – How To Prepare For A Good Weave
- Weave Wisdom – How To Install A Hair Weave
- Weave Wisdom – How To Maintain A Hair Weave
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