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.

 

Throwback Thursday: Hair Edition

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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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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).

Benefits of Wearing a Weave Closure

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If you’re a frequent weave wearer you know blending your hair makes all the difference between a flawless install and a weave that looks just like that, a weave. If you normally get a partial sew-in but may have concerns over the stress and breakage you may be putting your hair through when blending usually top and sides of your natural hair with your weave, then a lace closure would be perfect for you.

What’s a Lace Closure? Lace Closures are specialized hair pieces in which the strands are hand-tied to a lace.  The result is a piece that is sewn down to your braided hair that may be parted freely in any direction for a natural appearance without having to leave ANY of your natural hair exposed.

And did we mention it comes with its share of benefits?! There are many advantages of wearing a closure with your weave including:

True protective hairstyle.  None of your hair is exposed allowing it to rest and grow.  Your hair is braided and protected underneath your weave and closure allowing optimum protective styling. This works particularly well for ladies who are balding or thinning or suffer from various forms of alopecia.

No Blending, No Worries!  Making sure your tracks are covered that your hair is properly laid over the wefts of your weave will be a thing of the past.

Texture Isn’t an Issue.  Natural haired ladies won’t have to constantly use heat to match the straight texture of their extensions, relaxed girls won’t have to braid, twist and curl their hair to match wavy and curly textures.  You can just purchase a closure with the same texture as your extensions and not have to worry about any of that.

Color To-Go  You dye your weave any color your heart desires without having to color your real hair to match.  You no longer have to worry about damaging your real strands trying to color match your weave to your leave out.

 

HAIR CARE: Healthy Foods & Tips For Your Hair

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On the road to longer, healthier hair you’ll find yourself trying all types of products that seem to fail to deliver. Whether you’re on a natural hair journey or a relaxed hair journey… or even transitioning between the two, it’s not just about the products you put in your hair, but what you put in your body as well. Here are some healthy foods and tips to help your hair during your journey.
HEALTHY FOODS
  • Salmon – besides being rich in protein and vitamin D (both are key to strong hair) the omega-3 fatty acids found in this fish are the true superstar. Your body can’t make those fatty acids, which your body needs to grow hair. About 3% of the hair shaft is a make up of  these fatty acids. Omega-3s are also found in the cell membranes in the skin of your scalp, and in the natural oils that keep your scalp and hair hydrated.
  • Eggs – a great source of protein, eggs are loaded with four key minerals: zinc, selenium, sulfur, and iron. Iron is especially important, because it helps cells carry oxygen to the hair follicles, and too little iron (anemia) is a major cause of hair loss, particularly in women.
  • Spinach – the iron, beta carotene, foliate, and vitamin C in spinach help keep hair follicles healthy and scalp oils circulating.
  • Blueberries – exotic super fruits may come and go but when it comes to vitamin C. Vitamin C is critical for circulation to the scalp and supports the tiny blood vessels that feed the follicles. Too little vitamin C in your diet can lead to hair breakage.
Along with healthy eating, many people include daily vitamins to their hair growing regimen. Vitamins and pills rich in Biotin have been rumored to work wonders, but you should always consult with a physician to go over the side effects before taking any non-prescribed medications.
HAIR LOSS TIPS
  • Hot oil treatments – take any natural oil, olive, coconut, canola – and heat it up so that it is warm, but not too hot. Massage it gently into your scalp. Put on a shower cap and leave it on for an hour, then shampoo your hair.
  • Natural juices – you can rub your scalp with either garlic juice, onion juice or ginger juice. Leave it on overnight and wash it thoroughly in the morning.
  • Get a head massage – massaging your scalp for a few minutes daily will help stimulate circulation. Good circulation in the scalp keeps hair follicles active. Circulation may be improved through massage by using a few drops of lavender or bay essential oil in almond or sesame oil base.
  • Practice meditation – believe it or not, most of the times, the root cause for hair loss is stress and tension. Meditation can help in reducing that and restore hormonal balance.
The  key to seeing improvement in ANYTHING is consistency. Don’t be a product junkie and buy new things every week because you don’t see immediate results. Hope these tips help! Here’s to healthier hair.

Date Night Style with Empress Hair Weave

Going on a date? Check out some of these fab hairstyles for inspiration on your next romantic date.

Brandy_Side_Swept_WavesSide-Swept Curls:  This style can put a smile on any mans face, and for sure will have you looking beautiful!  Side-swept curls allow the visibility of the perfect pair of earrings, which may have been covered in another style.  This option also lets out your inner girly girl and compliments several face shapes. Doesn’t Brandy look fab!?

Get This Look:  To achieve this look, three bundles of our Brazilian Beach Wave virgin hair will be needed. For an extra dramatic look, spritz hair with a heat protectant spray and use a curling wand to create more curls. Sweep one side of the hair to the side and secure the other side of the hair with a pin in the back. Don’t forget to add light gloss for maximum shine.

Kelly-Rowland-Curly-HairNatural Curly Look: Curls are the PERFECT way to add volume and texture to your hair! Though hair styles are always changing, curls will always be in.  Kelly Rowland’s Bohemian curly look is so easy and carefree, your date will be amazed that he haven’t had to wait 5 hours for you to get ready for your date. That’s 10+ extra points for you on the dating scale.

Get This Look: To achieve this look, three to four bundles of our Deep Wave virgin hair will be needed. The longer the bundles are, the more you’ll need for fullness like Kelly’s. This look can be done on a full head sew in, or made in to a u-part wig with a bit of leave out. If you are leaving some of your own hair out, be sure to wrap your hair with very small perm rods to blend the hair.

Beyonce_Short_Angled_BobShort Angled Bob: Short styles are usually considered during the summer, but this bone straight style is sexy and cute all year! Queen Beyonce looks amazing while maintaining a natural soft yet fierce look! The blonde color compliments her skin (which is why it is always her staple go-to color), but you should be sure to choose a color that does the same for you. I think it’s simple and allows more time to polish the rest of your look!

Get This Look: To achieve this look, three bundles of our Chiney Gyal Straight virgin hair will be needed. One bundle may be enough if you’re just adding some tracks to your own hair for length. Grab a professional to cut this angled layer styled bob and just flat iron and go. Finish with a light gloss for maximum shine. 

Try out one of these looks for your next date, but most importantly be YOU… and you will definitely get a second date! Be sure to let us know how it goes in the comment box below!

Secrets to a Natural Look While Wearing A Weave

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It’s easy to see what makes weaves so popular-the almost-instant gratification of long, short, red, blond, straight, curly, fine or thick hair. If attached by expert hands, the tresses you bought can even give the hair that nature gave you a rest and help it grow. But for every gorgeous weave, there are a few bad ones. And a healthy weave is even more rare. Here are some tips on how to achieve a natural look while wearing a weave:

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  • Buy Human Hair. Synthetic hair is cheaper but it doesn’t move like human hair. You should get hair as versatile as you are. Synthetic hair also melts under heat, so forget about curling or straightening. Buying human hair by the ounce, as opposed to in a pack, is the preference of top stylists. Eight to ten ounces of quality human hair can cost from $200 to $600. If you’re going to spend the money, get good quality hair… after all, this is an investment. Luckily, we offer Bundle Sales at Empress Luxury Hair.
  • Try to match the hair to YOUR hair and hair color. Buying quality hair is absolutely essential, but it’s not enough. Selecting a believable texture is critical. If the weave is bone straight and your visible hair is tightly coiled, or if the purchased hair looks like it would never have grown out of your scalp, it’s wrong. You want your weave to look natural. Don’t choose a weave that doesn’t mesh with your lifestyle. If you work out a lot, try a texture and cut that needs little heat or manipulation.
  • Blend, Blend, Blend. Do show some scalp or your hairline so the look is more realistic. The weave and your hair should blend together beautifully. If you get a full weave and you leave out some of your hair for a more natural look, there are a few ways to style it so that it will blend with the hair weaved in. Invest in a   decent curling iron or flat iron. Make sure you curl or flat iron the hair so it blends easier. There are options if you don’t want to leave any hair out, though, such as closures
  • Handle With Care. Take care of your weave the same way you would with your natural hair, and it will last for months. Make sure you comb it out before washing and avoid using alcohol and harsh products when you wash, condition and style. If you don’t detangle daily, the hair sheds and gets tangled in the braid, causing unnecessary hair loss when you remove the track. Human hair wefts can last almost a year if you take care of them. Deep-condition like you would your own hair. Hot oil treatments and steam treatments maintain manageability.

You hair is a reflection of who you are, treat it with care and it will last long and look very natural.