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.

Long Locks Cheat Sheet: Tips for Growing Your Hair

169659110932812294_CtE2dre2_c_largeIf you’ve turned on a television, looked on Instagram, seen a movie or opened a magazine lately, you know that long, thick, healthy hair is pretty much mandatory if you want to rock this season’s it ‘do. Catching a glimpse of Nicki Minaj’s long, natural hair under the weave, or drooling over Chili’s perfect coif doesn’t have to involve wishful thinking. If you take proper care of your hair, from the inside to the ends, you may not land a spot on a Pantene commercial but you can maximize your mop’s potential. In the meantime, even the finest hair can go thick with human hair extensions *wink wink.

PRODUCT SCREENING

It doesn’t take much more than a Google search for harmful chemicals to teach even the novice information seeker a thing or two about the toxins that are put in everyday products. According to Livestrong.com, chemicals like parabens, acrylamide, 1,4-dioxane and selenium sulfide could have caused tumors in animal test subjects, and some have been found to be potential carcinogens. Many environmentalists have devoted websites that recommend eco-friendly clothing and beauty projects.

DON’T BLOW TOO HARD

Did you know using too much heat can destroy your hair cuticles and burn your locks just as it would scorch your skin? Although it’s sometimes hard to get around blow-drying, try to avoid doing it on a daily basis. Give those natural oils on your scalp time to recuperate. When you do turn to a dryer, be sure to go ionic.

Instead of blow-drying, let your hair air-dry in a twist out or sit under a hooded dryer. Or for less heat – wrap hair in a towel for 20 minutes, then take it down and detangle with a wide-tooth brush or comb. Shake out your hair and put it back into the towel (don’t hurt yourself). Repeating this process a few times should get your hair almost as dry as a blower. It might not leave your hair looking as sleek, but that’ll just give you an excuse to smooth with some argan oil to further nourish the hair.

DIET DOS FOR YOUR ‘DO

Your hair is only a partial reflection of how you treat your body. Getting the right nutrients can make a long-term difference on its health and appearance. A diet rich in lean proteins like chicken, nuts and seeds gives your hair a shot of what it needs to be strong and healthy. While protein reinforces hair strength, B-complex vitamins and essential fatty acids help it retain its sheen and luster. Whole grains help supply vitamin B, while salmon, soy and pumpkin seeds are a good source of essential fatty acids.

While there is no one single way to ensure your dream hair, subtle changes and tricks of the trade can help give you the best hair your body can grow.

No Sweat: How to Gym-Proof Your Hair Extensions

Black-Hair-ExerciseIf you’re anything like us – you’ll be breaking all of your diet rules this Thanksgiving holiday. But after we chow down on those three plates of food.. Everyone is ready to exercise! And yet, with treadmills and metabolisms firing up, the heat is also rising on scalps and hair – and this can be disastrous for your virgin Empress Luxury Hair extensions. No sweat, though; you can still have it all by simply using a little inside knowledge about how to preserve and save your hair weave while exercising.

First and foremost, keep hair extensions as dry as possible by sweeping them away from your neck and forehead. Salty sweat is acidic and can dry out and damage your virgin Indian hair extensions. So pull tresses into topknots, buns, or ponytails – not low ones, to keep hair off the neck – or clip or wrap hair away. If wrapping your locks to keep them dry, keep hair in place with two separate wraps or scarves: one made of breathable mesh or satin (to secure hair in the wrap), topped by a simple cotton bandanna that absorbs and wicks away sweat. This tip will especially keep your head warm in winter!

However, when styling hair extensions for the gym, don’t pull too hard. Severe ponytails will slowly but surely pull out your hair extensions, and too much tugging on sewn-in tracks is a surefire way to loosen your braids or weaving base, frizzing up your look and cutting your style short. Aim for loose, sexy gym styles that let hair breathe and sweat evaporate.

Furthermore, avoid or shorten trips to the sauna or steam room, and try to wear a swimming or bathing cap to stop frizz before it starts. Moisture will poof out any hairstyle over time.

If you have them, make sure to remove clip-on hair extensions before working out. It sounds simple, but many ladies just refuse to do it. Fight this urge! Removing clip-on hair pieces is the easiest way to keep the hair from getting sweaty, dirty, or matted, and cuts down on the amount of washing and handling you need to do on your tracks.

Also avoid bonding or gluing in hair when you plan to be active. Chemical bonding glues can react badly with sweat and under heat, so you don’t want to chance it; save these types of weaves for weekends or other short-term applications when you won’t be exercising.

On the other hand, though, fusion applications can be fine for active women, so long as you are especially careful when pulling fusion hair into ponytails. The edges of your hair are the first to loosen, and you don’t want to speed up this process, so be gentle!

Of course, these are the same tips you should follow for any kind of hair extensions, whether sewn-in wefts, individual braids, or a wig. Your Empress Luxury Hair extensions are an investment in your beauty, just like your hours in the gym or on the track. Don’t let your weave keep you from working out. Keep your whole look together by protecting your hair weaves and pieces, and you’ll get through this year’s holiday season on the right foot (and strand).