Thursday, August 6, 2009

Hair styling: My hair is breaking off. What can I do?

Q. Can black hair get bleached by the sun?
A. Yes! Use a leave-in treatment such as Let's Jam Leave-In Treatment that has PABA as a sunscreen ingredient. Also, many finishing products like New Era Oil Sheen Spray and Fantasia's Spritz Hair Spray contain this ingredient.

Q. What does castor oil do for hair?
A. It lubricates the scalp and helps promote hair growth. Try Isoplus' Castor Oil Conditioner or All Ways Natural Castor Oil.

Q. If I don't want to use an oil-based moisturizer, what can I use to add moisture to my hair?

A. Try an oil-free leave-in treatment like Ion Anti Frizz Leave-In, Sheenique Stayz-N, Optimum Care Leave In or Let's Jam Leave In.

Q. Does black hair really benefit from those hot, concentrated conditioning treatments? If so, how would E go about giving myself one at home? Which is the right treatment for my hair type?
A. Yes, black hair can benefit greatly from hp conditioning treatments. Most professionals recommend hot conditioning treatments to their clients because heat-causes the hair cuticle to open so it can absorb nutrients, vitamins, proteins and moisture that have been stripped out of the hair due to any stress. Giving yourself a deep-penetrating treatment in the comfort of your own home is easy using TCB Hot Oil or Ion Hot Oil, Let's Jam Hot Creme, Ion Effective Care Intensive Treatment or Summit's Mend Conditioner. If your hair is truly virgin, use a moisturizing treatment such as Salon Care Cholesterol Conditioner, Ion Moisturizing Treatment or Optimum Care Rich Conditioner. For best results, give yourself a hot oil treatment at home early in the evening to allow the oil to penetrate into the scalp. After shampooing your hair, apply a very warm - almost hot -conditioning treatment to scalp and hair. After 30 or 45 minutes, shampoo oil from hair and scalp, making sure all of the oil is removed.

Q. My hair is breaking off. What can I do?
A. Hair breaks because it is weak. Deep-penetrating protein treatments, such as Sheenique Silk Reforming Complex with Silk Amino Acids, TCB Protein conditioner, Isoplus Deep Conditioner, Proline Perm Repair, and Lekair Super Hair Repair, can begin to rebuild the strength of the hair's cortex. Use the protein treatment once a week for about a month. Then, to keep hair in good shape, use a professional leave-in conditioner such as TCB Bone Strait Nutri-Shock, Summit Penetrator 37, Infusium 23 or Sheenique Stayz-N Treatment after every shampoo.

Q. What is the difference between a sheen spray and a moisturizing lotion?
A. Sheen sprays only coat the hair, reflecting light to give an illusion of shine. They provide some measure of protection and make hair easier to comb. Moisturizing lotions can penetrate shaft to the hair to impart more elasticity and sheen.

Q. What is a wrapping lotion and when should it be used?
A. Wrapping lotions are conditioning styling lotions that are combed through the hair and molded or "wrapped" around the head to create a smooth style. Head is wrapped with a "wrap cap" and dried. Wrap is removed and hair is ready to go. Wrapping lotions can also be used for blow styling and roller setting. Try Isoplus Wrap Lotion, Lottabody Wrap'N and Tap'N or-TCB Bone Strait Wrapping Lotion.

Q. How can I keep my hair smooth?
A. Dab pomade or styling gel just around your hairline or braids, then wrap your head with a piece of stretchy fabric or "wrap cap" for 1 /2 hour.

Q. What kind of pomades can be used to straighten hair?
A. Pomades cannot actually straighten hair, only make it appear less curly. Often, pomades are used with a hot-comb to straighten hair.

Q. There are so many hairdressings. How do you know which one is right for you?
A. It all depends on why you use a hairdressing. If all you want is a healthy sheen, a sheen spray is the best choice. It moisturizes, but does not hold. Lotion from hairdressings moisturize and add some body at the same time. Grease has the consistency of Vaseline, so it can hold sculpted hairstyles. A pomade is the thickest in texture. Examples of some of the many hairdressings available, by type, include: sheen sprays - Isoplus Oil Sheen, Sheenique Oil Sheen and Revlon Finisheen; lotion or creme hairdressings - Luster's Pink Oil Moisturizer, Lustrasilk Moisture Max Lotion and Dark & Lovely Oil Moisturizer Lotion; grease - TCB Hair & Scalp Conditioner; Sheenique Scalp & Root Nourishment, African Pride Herbal Miracle Gro and Always Natural Indian Hemp Conditioner; and pomades - Sportin' Wave Gel Pomade, Murray's Hair Pomade, Dax Bergamot pomade and Pro-line Comb-Thru Gel Pomade.

Q. What is a good holding spray with low alcohol?
A. Hairsprays without alcohol generally do not hold as well or dry as fast; however, if you want a low alcohol hairspray, try Aura Witch Hazel Hair Spray or Resque Alcohol Free Hair Spray.

Q. I've worn my hair in cornrows for years, but lately I've noticed hair around my hairline is getting thinner. What is wrong?

A. It is possible that your cornrows are pulled back or braided too tightly. Keep cornrows moisturized with a spray made specifically for braids like African Pride's Braid Spray. Stress typically occurs along the hairline and breakage and thinning can occur over time. Give hair a rest from braids.

Q. I use a pomade for shine on my hair, but it makes my hair so stiff. What can i do to get shine without stiffiness?

A. Try a hair shiner for control and shine without stiffness, such as Jheri Redding Replenishing Hair Shiner, Aphogee Gloss Therapy or TCB Bone Strait Liquid Sheen. For a little more hold with shine, try one of the "ringing gels" like Let's Jam Shining & Conditioning Gel or Bone Strait Shining Gel. (The gel rings when the side of the jar is tapped.)

Q. I live in a humid climate and my braided styles tend to frizz, What can I do to help the frizziness?

A. Try a braid spray such as African Pride Braid Spray or a hair glosser like Ion Anti Frizz Glosser or Aphogee Gloss Therapy.

Q. Is there a specific styling aid I should put into my hair prior to braiding?
A. Try African Pride Braid Spray, Sheenique Nubian Silk Oil Treatment, Kemi Oyl, Let's Jam Conditioning and Shining Gel or Pure Shine Slicking Gel to help make braiding easier.

Q. What can I use to help comb through very curly hair that I don't want to relax?
A. Use a hairdressing daily that is right for you and a rinse-out conditioner after shampooing for detangling. Try Creme Of Nature Fanti or Kente Hairdress, Pro-line Comb-Thru Softener, Liv Creme Hairdress or Optimum Care Light Control Treatment. For detangling, try these rinse-out conditioners: Optimum Care Rich Condition, Ion Moisturizing Treatment, Jheri Redding Humectin Conditioner and Queen Helene Creamy Cholesterol Conditioner.

Q. No matter how much pomade, hairspray, gel, or mousse I put in my hair, it remains dull. What can I use to make my hair shiny?

A. Applying certain hair styling products to the hair can add luster; however, too much of a good thing can turn into a dull problem. For beautiful, shiny hair, shampoo hair with a deep-cleansing shampoo or clarifying shampoo, such as Care Free Curl Conditioning Shampoo, Ion Balanced Cleansing Shampoo or Ion Clarifying Shampoo to remove build-up. Then, moisturize with a high-protein conditioner and finish by rinsing with cool water. Use styling products sparingly. Try using high-sheen hair glossers, such as Ion Anti Frizz Glosser, Hask Pure Shine, Let's Jam Oil Free Shine, Aphogee Gloss Therapy or Bone Strait Liquid Sheen. Use just a dab!

Q. What gels and hairsprays won't flake?
A. Higher contents of resin will cause gels to flake. Look for a regular hold gel like Pre Con Gel Regular Hold or Isoplus Light Styling Gel. In sprays, try Summit Pre Con Spritz, Luster's Pink Oil Holding Spray or Optimum Care Soft Holding Spritz.

Q. Can I use styling aids not made especially for black hair? Sf so, which types?
A. Yes, but avoid anything with excessive alcohol or resin content. Try Ion Anti Frizz Gel Mist which doesn't contain alcohol. It's crystal clear, won't flake and contains aloe vera for extra protection.

Q. I recently had extensions put in my hair. How can I take care of them and my natural hair underneath?

A. To keep your hair looking beautiful, shampoo every week with a diluted pH-balanced shampoo, being careful not to massage scalp. For best results when shampooing, wet your scalp well before you lather. Rinse well, blot out excess moisture and pat your scalp with a towel. Dry braids by moving the towel downward. Next, apply a leave-in conditioner. Pat excess with a towel, leaving most of the conditioner in the hair. Then, tie on a cotton scarf and let dry completely. This will help keep braids looking neat. To prevent flaking or itching, oil the scalp with a natural oil like Sheenique Nubian Silk Oil. Between shampoos, spray on an oil-sheen. Shampoos to try include Ion Balanced Cleansing Shampoo, Care Free Curl Conditioning Shampoo and Revlon Herbal Deep Glean Shampoo. For a leave-in conditioner, try Sheenique Stayz-N Treatment, Penetrator 37 or TCB Bone Strait Nutr-Shock.

Q. I love the latest hairstyles with large French twists, banana roils and upsweeps. Ss there any way I can get my medium-length hair to resemble these styles without investing in a hair weave or buying a wig?

A. The fastest and easiest way to look like you have hair long enough for many of these popular styles is to purchase a hair ratt. Popular in the 1930s and 1940s, a hair raft is a lightweight, soft plastic mesh bun that comes in several shapes, sizes and colors. To wear one, select a ratt that matches your hair color. Place it where you want your twist. Roll, or upsweep hair to cover it, and secure with bobby pins. A dab of styling gel smoothed on will help keep it looking sleek.

Q. Which types of combs and brushes are best for African-American hair?

A. Select a comb made of a top grade plastic and brushes that you can pull through easily, without snagging hair. Brushes with smooth, pure boar bristles are usually the best choice instead of plastic or nylon bristles that can have rough edges. When selecting a comb, look for one with wide teeth and preferably coated as the tips (double-dipped) for extra smoothness.

Q. What comb or pick should i use for permed or relaxed hair?
A. Use a wide-tooth comb or pick, preferably one coated at the tips.Try the versatile "Super Styler" comb with a double-sided comb and a pick on one end. All teeth are dipped to protect from snagging hair.

Q. What's the right way to straighten my hair with a hot comb?
A. The best time to press hair is after you've washed and conditioned it. The hair must be completely dry. Place hot comb in a heater or on a flame. Section hair into several small portions. Apply a pressing oil, such as Sheenique Nubian Silk Oil Treatment or Isoplus Pressing Oil, to the scalp and distribute through the hair evenly and sparingly. Place the hot comb on a tissue paper to test if it's too hot. If the paper scorches, the comb is too hot to use on the hair and should be allowed to cool. Test until the comb leaves no brown marks on the paper. When the comb is at the right temperature, hold section of hair upward from scalp. Pull comb through hair quickly and gently. Make sure hair is touched by the back of the comb (the back rod does the actual pressing). For best results, bring the comb through each tress twice or/top and once on the bottom. Repeat throughout hair. Afterwards apply a bit of hairdressing to the scalp. Brush through. Comb and style. The Gold N' Hot Comb has a variable temperature control rheostat that helps take the guess work out of the right temperature. It goes from 145 to 320 degrees.

Q. Each morning, I curl my hair with an electric curling iron set on high. Does black hair require very high heat settings?

A. If you can effectively curl your hair on a lower heat setting, do so. Over time, hot curling will damage the hair. Use a protective treatment or styling product which offers some thermal protection, such as Lottabody Styling Lotion, Luster's Pink Oil Sheen Spray, Isoplus Hot, Hot, Hot Curler.

Q. Can I use a hot comb on chemically treated hair?
A. Yes. It is important to use a lower heat setting and always use a protective, leave-in treatment prior to use. If hair is damaged, it is not recommended.

Q. What type of straightening appliance should I use?
A. Try an electric straightening comb or flat iron such as those by Gold N' Hot. They're convenient and easy to use.

Q. What is the best curling iron size to use for black hair?
A. Size depends on tie length of hair, the desired fullness or tightness of curl.

Q. What is the best way to dry black hair without taking out the curt or producing frizz?

A. Use a blow-dryer diffuser, with the temperature set on "cool."

Q. On a curl, do I use an activator or moisturizer first?
A. For a new curl perm, apply the moisturizer first, which helps combat the drying effect a curl has on hair. Then, follow a program of applying an activator every morning to "activate" the curl pattern and using a moisturizer about twice a week.

Q. What can I put on my curl so it doesn't look wet?
A. Try a lighter formula activator and moisturizer like Wave Nouveau Finishing Mist and Lotion or Care Free Curl Gold Activator.

Q. Can people who aren't black use "ethnic products"?
A. Yes! The use of these products doesn't really have as much to do with a person's race or ethnic origin as the shape and texture of their hair. Those with very curly or very coarse hair may only be able to get the styling results they want with a black hair care product.

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