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2013 African American Up Do Hair Style

Find the Best Shampoo for Curly, Ethnic, and African American Hair Types: Stop Dryness and Frizz :: An Review

Black or African American hair is different in texture than Caucasian or Non Ethnic Hair; yet, many individuals, all over the world, whether Black, brown, or white, have drier, curlier textured hair. The reason Black or African American hair care seems such a daunting task is because the hair care industry caters to Caucasian or non-curly textured hair. The ingredients in most shampoos specifically have been geared toward a specific clientele. Unfortunately, Black Hair Care shampoos for African American or Ethnic hair, which were spin offs of these products, mimicked these shampoo components, using cheap detergents, foaming agents, and feel good silicones and chemicals without giving African American, Ethnic and curly textured hair the actual ingredients it needs to be healthy. Different hair textures need different things. Black hair care only seems so impossible because no production company has truly researched and been willing to spend the additional dollars to give Black Hair what it needs. However, there are a few companies out there that make great shampoos for Black hair. Here’s a Guide on “What to Look for When Buying a Shampoo for African American, Black, or Biracial Hair.”

Step # 1 Assess the characteristics of your African American or Ethnic hair. You should look for a mild, moisturizing shampoo with a balanced pH value. The pH balance refers to the alkalinity or acidity of a particular product. A pH of 5 is near the Ph normal hair. A balanced pH value will help maintain the hair’s natural acidity level while giving shine and manageability to African American or Ethnic Hair. However, African American or Ethnic individuals often need shampoos with a slightly higher pH, so less acidity reaches the scalp and robs it of moisture.

Step #2: Make Quality Hair Care Product Purchasing Decisions. You get what you pay for, so try buying hair care shampoos, conditioners, and lotions that are natural. If not natural, look for shampoos that contain no sulfates, silicones, or glycols, because these are cheap foaming agents, hair coaters, and thickeners that strip Black hair and Ethnic hair of its natural oils.

Step #3: Bring Your Magnify Glass and Look at the Ingredient Labels. Look for shampoos that contain the following ingredients: Aloe Vera (light hair moisturizer for all hair types), Rosemary (hair growth stimulant, pH balancer, removes build up), Jojoba (moisturizing oil closest to normal skin), Amla ( natural oil that acts as a hair conditioner), Lemon (acts as a clarifier, adds shine, and improves manageability). Beauty 4 Ashes GodHead and Ojon shampoos work particularly well on African American hair as well as wavy and curly haired individuals. GodHead in particular works well, because it is loaded with essential and natural oils that add shine and bounce, while loosening and separating curly textured hairs. You can find their products online at wwwdiscoverb4acom.

Step #4: Buy a Shampoo that You are Comfortable Washing with at least Once Time per Week. If you use the correct product, you won’t have to have fear about washing your hair more often. Water is actually great for African American and Ethnic Hair. So, don’t dread shampooing that hair. With a great product, such as Beauty 4 Ashes Silky Smooth Shampoo or Ojon, your hair will actually grow more with more frequent washing.

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Black Hair Care: Tips for Transitioning From Relaxed to Natural Hair :: An Review

Despite all the buzz to the contrary on natural black haircare, transitioning from relaxed to natural hair does not have to be traumatizing. If you have worn your hair permed or relaxed for many years, look at the transitioning stage as a formal re-introduction to the natural hair your momma gave you!

Every woman who decides to go natural carries a unique blueprint that is her natural tresses. No two heads are alike. Embrace the fact that what you have is beautiful, not to mention a head turner.

Do You Know Your Curl Pattern?

Every person is born with a hair type that is all their own. Stylist Andre Walker, created a system for classifying specific hair types or patterns.

Curly/kinky is Type 4A, 4B or 4C. Type 4 can resemble small spirals the diameter of a crochet needle, or be tightly coiled. Curly/kinky is at the greatest risk for breakage because of the curl pattern and needs consistent moisture.

Curly is Type 3A, 3B or 3C and can range from loose ringlets to slightly more tightly defined, spiral curls the size of a pen.

Type 2 is wavy hair, with variations ranging from 2A to 2B to 2C – with 2C being the most wavy within the 2 category of wavy hair.

Straight hair is classified as Type 1. Straight is the strongest of all hair types and is generally harder to hold a curl.

Many of us may have various curl patterns on our head! The crown could be 3b while the nape of the neck is 4a for example. There are a growing number of people who don’t subscribe to Andre Walker’s curl pattern classification because they feel that it is too restricting, or that it perpetuates the stereotype of the “good hair”, “bad hair” mentality.

We think that it is a useful tool to help us to understand our hair better. The system was not meant to reinforce old school negative connotations.

Transition Style Plan: Before The “The Big Chop”

Some women are tempted to cut all their relaxed hair off when deciding to go natural. Others cut as much of the permed or relaxed portion of their hair off as possible and work on nurturing their new growth – or the new hair that grew in after the perm. It is best to plan the big chop only after you have an idea of how you want to look and what you will look like with short hair.

You know yourself better than anyone and can envision what you will look like with a shorter style than you may be used to wearing. You can also talk with a stylist to get a second opinion based on the shape of your face. Remember, you can always enhance your short style with plenty of hair accessories – medium- to large-sized earrings, headbands, and colorful scarves. Your hair will grow healthy, beautiful, and stronger than ever.

Transition Style Plan: Without “The Big Chop”

Not everyone feels comfortable with cutting their hair off in order to transition completely over to a natural hairstyle. A slower crawl towards natural hair can be accomplished with twists, braids, flat twists or other styles that allows you to keep your hair length during the transition process. If you choose to keep your relaxed hair while your natural hair is growing out, be sure to trim the ends and deep condition regularly as the line of demarcation between the natural and relaxed hair is weak and prone to breakage.


One huge mistake that many women make while taking care of their natural hair is overloading it with lots of grease or oils. You may feel that this is the best way to keep your hair from being dry and frizzy. This is only partially true. Our natural hair needs lots of natural moisture – lightweight, lightly applied oils – to lock in that moisture to our hair and scalp. The best are natural moisturizers that get absorbed into our hair instead of laying on top of our hair like hair grease. Hair grease with petroleum and mineral oils prevent moisture from absorbing into the hair shaft. Some better alternatives include:

• Coconut oil

• Shea butter

• Jojoba oil

Avoid products with mineral oil, silicone, or petroleum which just sit on top of the hair. Remember that you need moisture that penetrates the hair shaft which will keep your hair properly moisturized. This not only protects your hair from breakage, but helps to bring out your natural curl pattern.

Always Protect Your Hair When Sleeping

Sleeping provides a special challenge to natural hair if you do not prepare and protect it. You want to avoid matting, tangling and breakage as much as possible. Sleep on satin pillowcases or use a satin cap. You can also twist or braid your hair in big sections before sleeping.

The transition over to natural black hair care is easier than you think and well worth the effort for healthy, head turning natural hair.

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Creating a Black Hair Care Regimen :: An Review

For optimal black hair growth and health, you should develop a week by week regimen of what you will need to do to your hair in order to keep it clean, healthy and growing.

To create a basic hair care regimen, you need to determine the following things:


1.**Figure out what times of day you need to moisturize and what products work best for your hair. You should have at least one moisturizer for adding moisture AND another moisturizer that specifically says it contains protein or that it is “Anti Breakage”. Alternate between these two moisturizers as needed. I will tell you in another post how to tell if your hair needs more moisture or more protein.

2.**Oils and Sealants

To keep moisture in your hair after using your moisturizer, you will need to apply an oil to “seal in” the moisture so your hair wont get dried out. Good oils to use are olive oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, rosemary oil, sweet almond oil, carrot oil, tea tree oil, castor oil, etc. I’ll have a detailed post just on essential oils later.

3.**Determine when and how you will style your hair and find products necessary to protect your hair from that styling. For example, if you style with a lot of heat, you will need to use a Heat Protectant on your hair each time you style to prevent damage.

4.**Leave-In Conditioner

Find a good leave in conditioner that makes your hair feel and look better. It may take a while of trying different products to find the one you like best. Infusium 23 is an example of a good leave-in conditioner.

5.**Determine how you will protect your hair while you are sleeping. Either wrap it up with a satin head wrap or use a satin or satin-like pillowcase. This prevents excess friction on your hair as you move around in bed, which will cause less hairs to be accidentally broken off. Wrapping your hair up in something also keeps the products you put on it from messing up your pillows and sheets!

6.**I have not yet discussed protective styles yet, but basically they are styles like buns, wraps, wigs, weaves, etc. that you can use to keep your hair protected from excess sun, dry air and friction from clothing. Putting a good moisturizer on the hair and using a protective style during the day is a great way to keep your hair moisturized all day. The less your hair is out and messed with, the better!


1.**Determine how often per week (or bi-weekly) you will wash your hair and what products you will use. Remember to use a moisturizing shampoo.If your hair is very damaged and feels mushy, you should use a protein conditioner that says on the label that it contains protein or keratin. If your hair feels hard, stringy, dry and broken, use a moisturizing conditioner.

2.**Find a good deep conditioner. I would suggest using a deep conditioning treatment at least once a week. Even more if your hair is very damaged. Just like conditioners and moisturizers, there are deep conditioners especially made for hair that needs more protein or hair that needs more moisture. I will discuss deep conditioners and how to use them in an upcoming post. I personally use the Motions Deep Penetrating Treatment. Your hair may like a different product. Try a few different ones to see what works best.

3.**Vitamins, Diet, Exercise, Growth Aids

A good diet and exercise contributes a lot to having healthy hair. The body focuses first on internal processes, then on things like hair and nails last. So that means, if you aren’t taking care of your insides as well, your body will give nutrients and vitamins to your insides first and your hair and nails may get neglected if you the body doesn’t have enough nutrients to use for them. Using a good multivitamin supplement is a great idea to make sure your hair and scalp get their share of internal attention as well as the attention you pay to it from the outside. There are also supplements like Biotin, which can make hair and nails stronger.

4.You can also consider using growth aids to speed hair growth if that is your goal. Popular hair growth aids are Megatek by a company called Equiss and M-T-G by a company called Shapeley’s. Do your research on products like these first and see what results others are having and how they need to be used. I am currently using Megatek and have also used MTG, so if you would like more specific information on these products, please comment or send me an email.


1.**Determine how often you will relax your hair. It’s a good idea to stretch as long as you can between relaxers to reduce the chance of you re-relaxing hair that has already been relaxed before. I will talk more about stretching later, but it gives the hair time to grow, so that it will be easier

to apply the touch up relaxer to the new growth only.

2.**When you use a lot of products in your hair every month, as most black women do, it is then necessary to use a Clarifying Shampoo once a month to remove buildup that regular shampoos do not remove. I use Suave Clarifying Shampoo once a month. If you continue to pile products onto hair that already has a lot of product buildup, products will start to not have as good of an effect on the hair as it did the first few times you used it. Clarifying gets rid of the buildup so products will once again be able to provide you with their full benefits.

If you do these things, you will have a pretty good basic regimen. It will take some time on your own to find the right products that work for you and are available in your area, and you can try to add things that you discover work for your hair that I may not have mentioned here. The important thing is that you learn what your hair needs on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis and keep up with doing it.

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How to Find a Good Hair Moisturizer For Relaxed and Natural Black Hair :: An Review

Moisturizing hair is as important as deep conditioning to any black person who wishes to have long hair. As washing and deep conditioning the hair every day is quite impractical, a hair moisturizer is required to avoid dryness until the next wash.

Relaxed and natural black hair tends to be quite porous so loses moisture quickly. The key to long beautiful locks is to keep replacing the moisture lost. The easiest way to do this between washes is to use a good moisturizer.

First things first, let’s deal with a common misconception about oil. Oil is not a moisturizer! Oil lubricates the hair and ‘seals in’ any moisture you already have in the hair. If your hair is dry and brittle and you apply oil to it then you are doing your hair more harm than good. The oil will coat the hair and prevent any further moisture from entering the hair which will lead to breakage.

The best moisturizers should always be water based i.e. the first ingredient should be water; water is in fact the best moisturizer! Good moisturizers should also contain humectants. These are ingredients which attract water from the atmosphere, glycerine being the most popular of these. Honey is also an excellent humectant but more commonly used in conditioners and not moisturizers.

Always avoid moisturizers that contain mineral oil or any other petroleum based product in the first few ingredients. Mineral oil does nothing but coat the hair leaving it shiny but dry.

You may find that the best conditioners are the ones that are marketed to ‘wet type’ styles (jheri curl or wave nouveau) as they contain mainly water and glycerine. S curl is particularly good.

How to use hair moisturizers is just as important as getting the right product. If you plan to blow dry or roller set your hair, after towel drying apply a dime sized amount of a water and glycerine based moisturizer before you apply the same amount of heat protectant and comb through hair to evenly distribute. After the blow dry or roller set your hair will be left soft and silky to the touch and will remain like this throughout the day. If you plan to flat iron it then only apply leave in conditioner and a silicone based heat protectant to the hair.

Moisturizers should then be applied daily or as needed. Only a dime sized amount is required for shoulder length hair. A touch more for longer hair. Always comb the moisturiser through the length of the hair with a wide tooth comb to make sure that every strand gets its share. You can apply a bit more to the ends if desired. There is no benefit in loading your hair with moisturizer as hair is only about 10-14% water and all you are trying to do is regain the moisture balance in your hair. You are more likely to ruin your style by leaving relaxed hair looking greasy or reverting natural hair altogether by applying too much moisturizer! When you use a moisturizer well, it should keep your hair from drying out without weighing the hair down or being sticky.

Oil free moisturizers are also good option. They contain silicones that help ‘seal’ the moisture into the hair but their first ingredient must also be water and hair should be washed every 3rd day to prevent build-up. Some good examples of natural oil that can be used to seal in moisture after a wash are coconut oil, avocado butter, mango butter or Shea butter. Remember that these are oils and will just lock in whatever moisture you already have in your hair. It is advisable to dampen the hair slightly before applying any hair oil to it.

For more black hair care articles please visit

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Black Hair Growth Products to Stop Thinning Hair in African American Women :: An Review

Hair loss is a common problem for African American women. Many black women routinely put perms and relaxers on their hair to straighten out their strands. The chemicals in these products can strip away the protein and natural oil from the strands making them weak and causing them to shed excessively. The heat from curling irons and flat irons can be equally damaging. You can use natural black hair growth products to stop thinning hair and stimulate the regrowth of your strands.

The Benefits of Using Natural Remedies to Stop Thinning Hair

There are medicated treatments which can effectively stimulate hair regrowth. The problem is that these products contain chemicals which can be absorbed into your bloodstream and cause muscle aches, headaches, and other discomforts. It’s no telling what the long term use of these treatments can do to your health.

Natural remedies work with your body’s healing systems to stop thinning hair by treating the underlying cause of your loss of hair. Medicated hair loss remedies only mask the systems. Also, natural black hair growth products are much more economical and are easier to use. In fact, you can take natural ingredients you already have in your kitchen and make your own products to grow your hair back.

Vitamin E Oil

Vitamin E oil is an example of how you can take a simple natural ingredient to use to make your own black hair growth products. Vitamin E oil can offer the extra conditioning which many African American women need for their hair. Since black hair is very curly, the natural oils which are produced in the scalp cannot reach the rest of the strand to provide strength and nourishment. Coconut oil and rosemary oil are also good for strengthening the strands.

Other Natural Black Hair Growth Products

If you are shedding an excessive amount of strands due to female pattern baldness, you can certain herbs as natural hair growth products. Green tea, nettle root extract, and pumpkin seed reduce the production of the hormone which causes female pattern baldness.

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