FOUR tips for Natural Haired Weave Wearers

Smiling-curls-womanWow! That was a bit of a tongue twister. Try saying that four times fast. Four tips for Natural Haired Weave Wearers. Haha, okay back to the post.

The natural hair movement is with us and in full swing. Many black women these days are rediscovering their natural hair textures by stopping the use of chemical relaxers and this is a wonderful thing.

Even with all the enthusiasm for natural hair at the moment, each individual woman’s quest for long hair has not been diminished. Unfortunately for some they have found that going natural alone does not automatically equate to tangible length gains.

Gaining length with black hair requires a specific way of taking care of your hair (a regimen) that also involves the use of protective and low manipulation styling. Because of the nature of black hair, it does best when it is not constantly being handled, in other words, leave it alone!

I have in the past come across a few articles that suggest that most long haired natural ladies gained their lengths by avoiding hair extensions all together. This is completely untrue! You can certainly make length gains by wearing twists, braids or other such styles with just your own hair, you are also just as likely to make those gains wearing hair extensions.

In fact, a main factor to keeping a lot of natural hair ladies on track with their protective styling and their subsequent length was the use of regular weaves. Lets face it, not all of us have the unique ability to be able to go weeks on end without having hair to play in. Hair extensions fill that gap for women like us who enjoy having great looking hair on their head to style and wear, while keeping their own hair hidden and un-manipulated underneath.

Being natural while wearing hair extensions brings it’s own unique set of challenges. Here are four tips to help you navigate your way through them.

  • Leave out the bare minimum of hair – There is little point wearing hair extensions as a protective style if you leave out lots of your own hair. Remember, the more hair you leave out, the more manipulation that hair will get which increases chances of breakage. You need very little hair to cover the tracks when installing the weave.
  • Choose textures as close your own as possible – If you have kinky curly 3c, 4a or 4b textures that cannot be straightened effectively with the use of roller sets, wearing dead straight extensions and leaving out hair to blend is a mistake. Because of black hair’s tendency to revert in the presence of humidity you would have to flat iron your hair daily to keep your install looking seamless. Go for deep wave/kinky curly hair textures like our Spanish Town Curl that are easier to blend with your hair. If you absolute must wear straight extensions, invest in a good humidity blocking product that will mean that you only have to flat iron your leave out hair once a week.
  • Keep the weave in for a maximum of 6 weeks at a time – Natural black hair has a tendency to matt easily which is why it’s the ideal hair texture for creating dreadlocks. Keeping your weave in for extended periods of time leads to serious matting, which will mean excessive breakage while detangling your hair after you take out the weave. Some of the matting can be so bad that only a pair of scissors can solve the problem. It would be heartbreaking to see all your extra growth lost to breakage.
  • Avoid synthetic hair extensions – Synthetic hair extensions are more drying than natural hair extensions. This is because synthetic hair strips moisture from your own strands and does not have the same ability as human hair to hold on to moisturizing oils. Opt for good quality human hair extensions if you can or if you must wear synthetic hair, keep it in for as short a time as possible.

 

What’s on Your Hair? The Conditioner Guide

Smiling-curls-woman

What’s on your hair? If it’s healthy, shiny, and growing, chances are you’re using the right conditioning treatments. But if you’re still seeking that wholesome sheen and length, you probably need this ultimate guide to conditioning hair. Here’s everything you need to know!

Rinse-Through Conditioners

Also known as instant conditioners, these lightweight treatments are applied to the hair immediately after shampooing and rinsed out after a few (2 to 10) minutes. You will usually see more shine and softness immediately, but the results probably won’t last more than a couple of days; this is because instant conditioners simply leave trace amounts of key ingredients on the hair shaft, kind of like an oil spot on concrete. These conditioners can help build volume, manage tangles, and moisturize hair, temporarily. Rinse-out conditioning is best when you just need locks to look better in a hurry, and can be done after any and every shampoo. If you have fine hair that is easily weighed down, try applying a rinse-out treatment before washing hair.

Protein Conditioners

A special kind of rinse-through conditioner for stressed or damaged manes. Good protein conditioners contain keratin, the same protein your hair is made of, and other strengthening ingredients that help fill in cracks in the hair cuticle, fortifying strands to beat breakage and shedding. Think of them as the glue that holds your hair together.

A word of caution, though: just like glue, protein conditioners alone can leave hair hard and brittle. It’s important to seal the newly-rebuilt hair cuticle with a moisturizing conditioner of some sort, especially for kinky or curly hair; the layer of moisture will help keep hair soft and manageable. (Consider this a follow-up layer of varnish.) As a result, protein conditioners should not be applied more than twice a month, even for the most damaged tresses.

Deep Treatments

Deep conditioners are an absolute must for dry, processed, and curlier hair types. These penetrating formulas are made to last, moisturizing tresses for a much longer time than instant treatments. Deep conditioning treatments soak into the hair shaft over 30 to 45 minutes or more, helping correct and prevent all kinds of mane problems including shedding, split ends, breakage, slow growth, and dullness. Apply these with a heating cap up to once per week and allow both strengthening and silkening ingredients to hydrate your hair from the inside out.

Leave-In Conditioners

These are a curly girl’s best friend. Not only do these treatments give strands “slippage,” making detangling easier, but they also provide ongoing moisture and protection from sun and wind damage. Leave-in conditioners, true to their name, are applied last before styling and can also help straight-locked ladies who spend a lot of time outdoors or have thick coifs keep their tresses under control and damage-free. Thicker products like Mane N’ Tail’s leave-in formula are best for kinks or tight curls, while liquid leave-ins like those by Infusium 23and Biotera suit straighter hair better. Use after every shampoo; for those with extremely dry natural black hair, consider using leave-ins even after a deep-conditioning or rinse-through treatment (you don’t want to try and comb it “naked”).

Hot-Oil Treatments

Using the right oils can help reinvigorate hair, adding flexibility to locks fried from blow-drying, flat ironing, or hot curling. The best route is to apply oils to dry strands, cover with a shower cap or plastic bag, and let your body heat drive the natural proteins and moisturizers into your now-open hair cuticles.

The main concern with hot oil conditioning treatments is finding the right balance of ingredients to soften the hair without weighing it down or clogging pores. Store-bought formulas tend to use alcohols to lighten the load, but naturally lightweight oils like coconut and carrot can get the job done for a fraction of the price. To further keep away the Greasy Head, only use hot-oil treatments once a month – stick to other conditioning options to keep your locks healthy.

Because of course you have plenty of options! All conditioners come in several formulas to serve a variety of needs, from straight hair that needs regular, lightweight protection to dry, damaged, and color-treated locks that crave heavy hydration. So there’s absolutely no excuse not to start making the hair your want tomorrow today.

Throwback Thursday: Hair Edition

Yaya+Alafia+Butler+InStyle+Sep-1

Yaya, model turned actress gave us life this past September in her Instyle fashion spread.

She effortlessly posed for Instyle magazine in beautiful garments from Valentino, Marc Jacob, Marni & Louis Vouitton. But it was her big hair that caught our eye.  Ever since her journey on America’s Next Top Model to her role in Lee Daniels movie, The Butler, Yaya has been known as the girl with the fro.

Relive Yaya’s natural beauty and perfect fro below.

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Can You Dye Human Hair Extensions?

ombre-hair-color-2013-4Human hair extensions can transform your look and allow you to change and try out new hairstyles. Virgin hair extensions are the longest lasting extensions, and can be worn for a year or longer. Some women who wear human hair weaves wonder whether it’s safe to dye their human hair extensions.
Yes, you can dye your human hair extensions!

You can do anything with human hair extensions that you can do to your natural hair. This includes dyeing, cutting, heat styling and chemically processing your human hair. Many weave wearers dye extensions to get an exact match to their natural hair color. Things to remember when dyeing your human hair extensions:

Do a strand test first. Even though you can dye your hair extensions, you should first test to see how they will handle the coloring process. Mix the dye as directed, then apply to one small strand or section of the hair. Take note of the end result before continuing to dye the rest of your hair.

Virgin hair extensions are the best type of weaves for dyeing. Because virgin hair extensions have not been chemically processed in any way, they can be dyed with minimal damage to the hair. While it’s best to avoid overly harsh chemicals, virgin hair extensions can be lightened or darkened as natural hair. Experts advise that you don’t attempt to dye non-virgin hair weaves. These hair extensions have been chemically treated, stripping the strand to its weakest. They are generally not strong enough to be dyed.

It may take multiple applications to lighten your hair extensions. To dye black extensions to blonde or light brown color, you must first strip the hair of its natural color. Then you must bleach the hair to the desired shade. This may take more than one try to get to the right color. As usual, do a strand test first to avoid ending up with a head full of orange locks.

Just as strong chemicals can strip and damage your natural hair, harsh chemicals can also damage your human hair extensions beyond repair. Empress Virgin human hair weaves have the cuticle layer intact. This outer layer of the strand gives the hair its natural shine and body. By using chemical dyes that are too strong for the hair you can strip the cuticle, making your extensions weak, dull and brittle.

Can the staff at Empress Luxury Hair dye my virgin hair extensions for me? SURE! Empress Luxury Virgin hair extensions can be dyed in a wide variety of colors with our Color Me Services. With a little help from our staff, you can go from dull to vibrant in an instant without worrying about dyeing the hair at home. Email us at empresshairco@gmail.com today!

Hot Hair Alert: Blac Chyna

Kim Kardashian and Blac Chyna get their eyebrows touched up

Spotted this weekend was unlikely pair, Kim K and Blac Chyna. In casual attire the two ladies accompanied one another for some eyebrow grooming. The two hip hop girlfriends  seem to be building a close friendship. Kim Kardashian was also seen grabbing lunch with then blonde, Blac Chyna last week.

However, the real story here is Blac Chyna’s fire engine red hair. We love the bold pop of color. Is it a yay or nay for you?

Send us your favorite celebrity hair look and we will match the look for you. Email empresshairco@gmail.com today.

Blac Chyna and KimKardashian at  Topanga Canyon Mall, near Kimye's Calabasas mansion.

Blac Chyna and Kim Kardashian at Topanga Canyon Mall, near Kimye’s Calabasas mansion.

Can Stress Really Make Your Hair Fall Out?

Stress and Your hair-loss-reasonsHair: What Causes Hair Loss?

A variety of stressors may cause your body to undergo hair loss. It happens, McMichael says, when there’s some type of physiological change in your system. “For instance,” she says, “you go on or off an oral contraceptive. Or you lose more than 15 pounds of weight. Things like this change the physiological balance in your system.”

Other stressors, according to McMichael, could include:

  • A strict low-calorie diet
  • Lower estrogen levels after childbirth
  • Severe illness
  • High fever
  • Major surgery
  • Severe infections

Mirmirani says that hair shedding can also result from certain medications, thyroid disease, and nutritional deficiencies such as vitamin D or too much vitamin A.

Pinpointing the actual cause of the shedding isn’t always easy. That’s because, Mirmirani says, there’s a three- to six-month lag time between the stressful event and the hair loss. In order to determine the cause, you need to look back at what was happening three, six, or even nine months before the hair loss began.

Source: WebMD.com