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


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

Lace Closure - Empress Luxury Hair

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.


How to Define Curls in Your Virgin Curly Hair Extensions

Curly Virgin Extensions Empress Luxury Hair

Our virgin hair extensions can be worn as is or heat straightened for a different look. When you’re ready to get back to your curls just wash the hair and define the curls. Why should you define the curls after you wash the hair? Because virgin hair is completely unprocessed human hair, it behaves much in the same way your naturally curly hair does.  Getting back to virgin curly hair – any naturally curly-haired empress will tell you that their natural curls require some type of product for definition, hydration, and frizz prevention.

So here are five tips for how to define the curls in your virgin curly hair extensions:

  •  Avoid product buildup.  Keep your extensions clean by shampooing regularly with a sulfate free formula.  Product buildup will weigh down your extensions preventing the curls from forming freely.
  • Hydrate! Spraying the extensions with water will moisturize the hair and reactivate the curl pattern.  The best thing about water is it is free and will not cause any build up on the hair.
  • Avoid rubbing.  When you’ve wet the hair either from spritzing to help the curls to pop or after washing, try not to rub the hair to remove excess water with a towel or other material. Instead gently twist the hair and squeeze the excess water from the extensions.  Rubbing will cause frizziness and may even cause the hair to tangle.
  • Use a cream based product.  Creams usually require less product to be added to the hair than sprays and are able to be more evenly distributed.  You may choose to use a dollop of your favorite conditioner or a curl enhancing cream.  Either way, start with as little product as possible and distribute using a wide tooth comb.  Add a bit more product if necessary, but remember less is more!
  • Sleep on Satin.  Cotton causes friction on your virgin curly hair extensions and roughens the cuticle, robbing them of moisture and causing frizz.  Sleeping on satin will help your curls remain intact much better throughout the night therefore taking less effort (and little to no additional product) the next day to style.


HAIR CARE: Taking Care of Your Hair Under the Weave


Ladies, we all view our hair as precious – whether relaxed, natural, or transitioning. A lot of ladies wear weaves or wigs for fashion, but most wear it to protect or save their damaged hair. Whatever your reason, you MUST take care of your hair underneath it all.

How to take care of your hair under your weave:
  1. Length of time to wear your weave – It’s recommend that you wear your weave no longer than 2 to 3 months. The weave itself may hold up much longer, but it’s really about your hair underneath. The longer you keep the weave in the more likely your hair will start to dread underneath. Dreaded or badly tangled hair = MAJOR HAIR LOSS
  2. Moisture, Moisture, Moisture – Make sure your hair stays moisturized under your weave. You can moisturize your hair with a light oil like COCONUT OIL or carrot oil. I say light because you don’t want to weigh your weave down with oils. I personally love coconut oil on my hair and lightly on my weave.
  3. Shampooing your hair under the weave – It is easier to shampoo your weave while in the shower to help minimize or even eliminate tangling. Tilt your head back and gently wash the hair. A lot of weave wearers (including myself) use an applicator bottle to mix shampoo and water. Shake it, and then squirt the shampoo suds in between the tracks. You can do the same with the conditioner. Rinse thoroughly. After you’re done with your wash session, make sure that your hair is dried completely underneath or your hair will mildew. I like to sit under a hair dryer for about an hour to make sure that my hair is completely dry.
  4. Combing, Brushing and Styling – Be easy when styling your hair. Remember the weave is attached to your actual hair and you don’t want to cause more stress than necessary.
  5. Post-Install – Try to space out each install. When I take my install out I would wait about 2 weeks before installing a new round. I would make sure I give myself a good deep condition and a trim.
  6. Relaxed Hair – If you relax your hair, wait at least 2 weeks before installing your weave. Remember your hair is more fragile when you relax and you don’t want to add stress to your scalp and strands with a heavy weave.
Ladies, you can actually grow and repair damaged hair through weaves. Just be sure not to neglect your own hair during and after wearing weave as a protective style. Remember to give your hair some TLC (and time) and you’ll see improvements.