What’s on Your Hair? The Conditioner Guide

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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.

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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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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

How to Safely Remove Your Hair Weave

Crazy Hair WeaveTaking a weave out can be tedious, especially if you’ve gotten used to rocking that weave for some time. However, if you do not take them down properly you can cause breakage and lose a lot of hair and length.  Here are our tips for how to safely take down your weave.

Wash Your Locks and Condition Them Prior to Removal – Just like you would condition your locks prior to getting your hair colored, it’s important to wash and condition your hair to prep it for when you’ll be taking your weave out too. Cleaner hair is not only easier to work with, but hair that has enough moisture will be less dirty too.

Removing Bonded or Glued Hair Weave Extensions – To remove your bonded/glued hair weave you will need to coat the roots of your hair in oil. The oil will cause the hair to become slick, allowing the hair extensions to work their way off of your natural hair. Continue to massage the oil into your hair until your hair weaves have completely detached from your hair. Get in the shower or bath and thoroughly wet your hair. Once your hair is wet, begin applying a small amount of detangle shampoo. Massage the roots of your hair, but don’t be too rough as this could cause your hair to loosen and fall out.

Use a comb to work the glue out of your hair. Start at the tips of your hair and work towards your roots. This may seem a bit strange at first, but it will help prevent your hair from pulling out. Keep washing and combing your hair until you feel that the glue has been thoroughly removed from your hair and scalp. Finally, rinse your hair clean. If you feel that some glue is still clinging to your hair, than you may want to comb a few more times. Always comb from the tip of the hair to your scalp to prevent pulling out your hair.

Taking Down a Hair Weave Extensions Sew-In – Once you have removed the extensions from your braided base, lubricate your hair with an oil like grapeseed or olive. As you take down your cornrows, make sure you are pulling your fingers all the way through from the roots to the ends of your hair.  Leaving any of your hair intertwined is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when taking down your weave. Because your hair has been braided for several weeks, all of your natural shed hairs did not have an opportunity for removal.  As you unbraid, use your fingers to continually detangle and remove shed hair.

If it becomes too difficult enlist help from a friend.  Dedicate a few hours to this task and do not even begin to take down your weave if you are in a rush. It may take time and you may find yourself getting frustrated, but you need to treat your tresses with love. You don’t want them damaged, you want them in excellent condition! So think of the results and not the current situation.

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.