Minimizing Damage on Afro-Textured Hair When Deciding to Braid

Minimizing Damage on Afro-Textured Hair When Deciding to Braid

Braided hairstyles offer a timeless way for African American women to keep cool and look attractive during the warmer months of summer, but these often wreak havoc on the hair in the form of a condition called traction alopecia. Traction Alopecia is the leading cause of hair loss among African American women, affecting as many as one in three. Researchers have found that the primary cause of this condition is hairstyles that pull at the scalp, such as tight braids and ponytails.

Hair loss occurs as a result of the hair follicle being damaged from the constant tension involved in wearing these styles. The good news, however, is that strategies exist for minimizing traction alopecia, and that treatments are available for those who develop it.

Keep the Braids Loose

Loose braids have far less tension than their tight counterparts, so keep them as loose as possible. Don’t be afraid to ask your stylist to reduce the tension during the braiding process — you should feel only a minimal amount of pulling or none at all.

Keep Hair Strong

Strong, well-conditioned hair is far less likely to break off, even at the follicle level. Applying one or two intensive protein treatments followed by a heavy moisturizer prior to having your hair braided can help lessen its vulnerability to developing Traction Alopecia.

You should also ask your stylist to apply a good leave-in conditioner before beginning the braiding process. However, don’t let these measures act as a go-ahead for tight styling — it’s very important to keep tension to a minimum no matter what other safeguards are taken.Minimizing Damage on Afro-Textured Hair

Avoid Chemical Straightening

Those who have undergone chemical straightening may be more vulnerable to developing Traction Alopecia than their counterparts who haven’t had this procedure done. Chemical straightening weakens the hair shaft, so let your stylist know if you’ve had this done so he or she can take appropriate precautions.

Alternate Hair Styles

Braids should be left in for no longer than six weeks. After that period of time, give your follicles a rest and wear your hair another way for six weeks or so. Keep in mind that even if you’ve taken every precaution and haven’t felt the slightest bit of tugging or tightness while wearing braids, your follicles may have nonetheless been affected.

Avoid Braiding the Edges Altogether

Traction Alopecia is most noticeable in the edges of your hair, so avoid braiding them at all if possible, and simply smooth the area with a good styling product instead. If you must have them braided, ask your stylist to braid larger sections of hair in this area in order to help distribute the tension among more strands of hair.

Help with Hair Loss

Fortunately, traction alopecia is highly treatable when in the hands of a physician with expertise and experience regarding the condition. Please feel free to schedule a consultation with us today to discover how we can help reverse the effects of Traction Alopecia.

If you start noticing any hair loss, you better tell the problem early enough to your doctor to avoid damaging the hair follicles. For more information or to schedule a free consultation, visit our website today.

What Wikipedia Can’t Tell You About Natural Beauty

What Wikipedia Can’t Tell You About Natural Beauty

Though natural black hair is vibrant and envied by many, it’s too often neglected in the mainstream hair care industry. Salons, hair product advertisers, and popular conversations leave out ladies with thick and curly natural hair. As a result, some of the most important hair care tips get left out everywhere — including go-to information resources like Wikipedia.

If you’re looking for natural hair care tips that would be buried elsewhere, look no further than this list.

natural beauty secrets

1. Steaming is Hot Stuff

Drying your hair in conventional ways may sap moisture too hard and leave it damaged; instead, consider steaming. The steaming process:

  • Reduces hair breakage through the penetrative moisture
  • Works better than hooded dryers
  • Increases scalp blood flow (which can increase hair growth)
  • Limits dandruff
  • Strengthens hair for straightening purposes

2. Cold Comfort

The painfully dry climate common with cold weather can wreak havoc on natural hair. Consider these tips to keep your hair cool— but not cold:

  • Use cold water on your hair as much as possible
  • Utilize a home humidifier
  • Drape hair with silk and satin scarves
  • Maintain a diet that’s rich in vitamins and other nutrients
  • Prepare hair with conditioner and shea butter whenever possible
  • Avoid using hot air to dry

3. Protect Curls with Pineapple Perfection

Lose sleep over your hair? Toss and turn worrying over the damage it may suffer overnight? The solution to your hairsomnia is the pineapple hairstyle.

Make a really high ponytail and bind it together with a soft scrunchie. Repeat this process until the majority of your hair is bound up in ponytails. Take a soft scarf or sash and tie it around your newfound ponytails, thus cradling it in a soft barrier. “Soft” is emphasized throughout these instructions because coarse materials will damage your hair.

With this pineapple-inspired up-do, you can dream of soft curls in the morning.

4. Consider Co-Washing

Some people pooh-pooh shampoo. To some, traditional shampoos strip natural hair of oils essential to keeping hair from getting frizzy or brittle. This is a common concern amongst women with natural hair.

Co-washing replaces shampoo with a rinse-out conditioner. Continue to use warm water, apply the conditioner thoroughly from root to tip, and finger-comb all your tresses through the process. Allow shower steam to facilitate the conditioner for several minutes, and then rinse the conditioner out.

5. Get Eye-Popping Color with Eyeshadow

Most brightly-colored hair dyes are not made with natural black hair in mind; they’re weak, diluted, and have terrible hold on thick hair. Instead, use cream eyeshadow. They come in a wide array of colors and have the thickness and color density to stick to and show up on your dark, curly hair. Apply it to a desired patch of your hair and easily wash it out later when you’re done.

This tactic is great for nights out when you’re feeling adventurous and maybe want to match your hair with your outfit.

For further consult about natural hair care or restoration, consider reaching out to an expert.

Interested in More Information About Your African-American Hair?

For more information on safe and effective procedures, please contact Dr. Frank at (877) 751-4246 to set up a free consultation.

How to Deal With Knots and Detangling in Type 4 Natural Hair

How to Deal With Knots and Detangling in Type 4 Natural Hair

Type 4 Natural Hair is Beautiful

Black hair is a beautiful thing. It bounces with buoyancy, it’s unquestionably bold, and it’s the envy of many. All of this makes it a lot to handle—sometimes even for those who have it.

If you find yourself overwhelmed by your Type 4 natural hair, you’re certainly not alone. Type 4 is characterized by tightly-wound coils, a variable curl pattern, and regular shrinkage. These many factors, combined with daily wear-and-tear, make it incredibly easy for your hair to get caught up in knots.

To help guard against knotty hair and to handle it best when it (inevitably) arrives, consider the following tips.

Condition It

Before you embark upon your detangling session, apply your preferred conditioner to your hair. This will assist by making your hair smoother (and thus easier to manage) and also more weighted down—this stretches your hair coils temporarily and makes them easier to twist in and out of knots.

Steaming your hair can also be beneficial for this process. Certain conditioners also claim to be better at detangling curly hair than others.

Detangle In Sections From the Outside

Type 4 Natural HairWhen it comes to detangling Type 4 hair, it’s best to approach it with a military strategy: divide and conquer. Separate your hair into 6-8 different sections and tackle those areas individually. It makes the process less stressful and it makes each section’s handling more thorough. Hair clamps are a great aid during separation.

During the detangling process, work from the ends of your hair up. This allows you to handle knots that would otherwise get in the way of later knots.

When possible, keep your hair sectioned in braids. This will reduce subsequent knotting.

Keep a Regular Routine

Knots only beget more knots, and that’s not what you want. You can take preventative measures—the aforementioned braiding helps—but eventually it will knot up again.

Cultivate a regular routine and plan for it in your schedule. The more often you detangle, the less messy each procedure will be.

Use the Right Equipment

It’s not only important to arm yourself with knowledge, but also the right tools. When detangling your hair, you should be using either a wide-toothed comb or a brush with bristles set widely apart. Small, closely-distributed teeth will cause ripping and tearing and will only succeed in damaging your hair.

If possible, use a comb with teeth that have at least a half inch of space between them, if not more. If you’re using a brush, consider one with a rubber base and plastic bristles. Both are meant to curve and accommodate to your hair without stressing it.

Be Gentle

Most importantly of all, be certain to treat your hair with the kindness it deserves. Rough or hasty hair detangling can cause long-term damage, especially to old or already-damaged hair. Further fraying will beget even more knots.

If frustrating past experiences have left your hair edges in patchy shape, consider hair edge restoration. Addressing problem areas can be key to restoring your hair to a more manageable condition.

Interested in More Information About Your African-American Hair?

For more information on safe and effective procedures, please contact Dr. Frank at (877) 751-4246 to set up a free consultation.

Top 5 Hair Products for Women With Natural Hair

Top 5 Hair Products for Women With Natural Hair

Having natural hair is an experience that is as challenging as it is rewarding. Regardless of your length or texture there will probably be one aspect of your hair journey that requires a lot of effort to get just right. Some women’s hair may always seems a bit too dry or others get single strand knots, whichever it is, everyone has her own struggles. It is important to carve out your own path and learn what your hair likes and dislikes. This article isn’t about specific products or brands, but rather about the essential items that can help women with natural hair take control of their hair journey. Here are our picks for the top 5 products for women with natural hair.

Hair Products for Women With Natural HairA Mild Cleanser/Shampoos (Preferably Sulfate Free)

Hair thrives when the scalp is clean and healthy. Cleansing of the hair and scalp should be effective enough that all dirt, dead skin cells, product residue and environmental debris is removed without over drying the hair. Cleansers with sulfates tend to over dry and irritate the scalp as well as stripping the hair of natural oils. Neither of those outcomes are desirable which is why it is important for a shampoo to be both effective and gentle.

An Affordable Conditioner with a Ton of Slip

Conditioners are an essential part of the natural hair life for two reasons. The first is that they restore moisture lost during the cleansing process and the second is they provide slip to make detangling easier. Generally, women with natural hair go through a lot of conditioner which is why I said use an affordable product.

A Deep Conditioner

Deep conditioners are exceptional at restoring moisture deep within the hair shaft so that hair is moisturized from within. Regular deep conditioning sessions are absolutely essential if hair is to be manageable and soft. If your hair is always dry, regular deep conditioning sessions could be a life saver.

An Oil or Butter to Seal

Keeping natural hair moisturized is a two step process that involves not just the addition of moisture but locking that moisture into the hair by creating a barrier between the hair and air (atmosphere). Oils and butters do just that. Oils can also add shine and lubricate each strand so they slide past each other instead of creating tangles, knots and frizz each time they come in contact.

Water

Water is essential to our bodies and our hair. Not only do we need to use water and water based products for softening and moisturizing our hair, but we also need to drink lots of water in order to achieve optimal hair health. Healthy hair starts from within.

Keeping healthy beautiful natural hair can be time consuming but worth it. As mentioned in previous blogs, steer clear of tight styles that will cause breaks in your hair.

Restoring Edges For Black Women

To find out more about restoring and maintaining African-American hair or for a free consultation or call Dr. Frank Toll-Free for more information at (877) 751-4246.

Hair Styles That Lead To Traction Alopecia

Hair Styles That Lead To Traction Alopecia

This next post is once again dedicated to traction alopecia since I usually find this to be the root cause of why most black women lose their edges. Traction alopecia is hair loss which occurs when subjected to stress and tension for prolonged periods of time. The stress on the hair from being pulled so tightly for so long is what eventually causes the hair to loosen and fall out. Damage can sometimes be permanent long even after you no longer wear that hair style. (more…)

Summer Hair Tips for Natural Hair

Summer Hair Tips for Natural Hair

Just as you think you’ve found the perfect hair regimen, the seasons change from a blistery cold winter to a boiling summer.  Like the seasons, your natural tresses will undergo change and may need a new routine.

If you want your hair to look as gorgeous as the weather, try adopting these summer tips for your natural hair.

Be Sure to Adequately Hydrate the Hair

To ensure your mane doesn’t get dry, it is important to understand hydration. Often confused with moisture, hydration is measured by the amount of water present while moisture helps retain water. Your hair can absorb water from rinsing or using water-based ingredients. The battle with black hair and hot weather is preventing evaporation. In order to avoid water loss, trap the absorbed water with a moisturizer, moisturizers help maintain or attract hydration and prevent breakage. The wash-and-go is a great style for keeping hydrated black hair.

Ever Thought About Wearing Extensions?

Though hair extensions are worn universally, African American women are known for creating intricate styles using them. It is important for black women with natural hair to understand that extensions aren’t solely used for longer hair, they can also be used for protection. Styles like braids, cornrows, and sew-ins are awesome for preserving African American hair because it prevents excessive manipulation.Constant brushing, combing, and certain hair accessories can tug at the hair and cause it to snap.

Be sure to work with a reputable stylist when getting hair extensions installed. Extensions that are not properly installed may cause trauma to your scalp and hair edges, the added weight can make strands break. Ask your stylist about closures if you prefer that none of your natural hair be exposed.

Try A Different Style

The Twist-Out

A twist-out can be done on hair that is either all natural or transitioning. If your goal is to maintain natural hair with defined curls and minimal shrinkage, the twist-out may be your next best friend. This protective style is done by twisting two strands of hair together and letting them settle.  Twists are gentle on the edges and will help prevent split ends.

Flat Twists

If you’d like a different spin on your favorite cornrow style, try flat twists. Flat twists are rows of two strand twists that are attached to the scalp. Though some women install flat twist to get more defined curls, others have them styled in an up-do.

Faux Locs

If you aren’t hip to the faux loctrend, then you are probably living under a rock. Faux locs, inspired by African hair threading, involve wrapping yarn, string, or braiding hair around small sections of hair to resemble dreadlocks. This style is great for someone who admires dreadlocks but can’t make the commitment. Be sure to get faux locs installed by a professional, if hair is wrapped too tightly it can cause trauma to the scalp.

African American women are blessed with versatile natural hair. Instead of sporting the same old style this summer, try something new. These styles will not only pump up your look, they will ensure your hair is protected from this summer’s heat!

Restoring Black Hair

If damage is so severe, you may also benefit from looking into other options such as hair restoration.  I encourage you to come into our office where we specialize in restoring edges for black women, as well as other African American hair loss treatments specifically designed for Afro-textured hair that has suffered from over styling damage.

To learn more about options for keeping natural hair looking beautiful, call Dr. Frank (877) 751-4246 for a free consultation.