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Box Braids 2013 And Sides Shaved

Black Hair and Alopecia :: An Review

Traction alopecia is a common form of black hair loss. While this type of alopecia is seen worldwide, and common to Sikh men and Japanese women due to their traditional hair styles, it is most widely seen in African-American women and men.

Alopecia’s  are believed to be the fifth most common dermatological complaint among Black people, with chemical and traction  alopecia’s the most common.Population studies show a prevalence of 17.1% in African schoolgirls and of 31.7% in women inflicted, with numbers steadily rising.

 There are 2 types of traction alopecia, marginal and non-marginal. Marginal traction is caused by appliances such as tight curlers and rollers, where the hair loss pattern reflects the use of these objects. Whereas a non-marginal pattern occurs created through effects like hair buns creating hair loss in the area where the bun actually sits. This type of alopecia for this reason is often seen in nurses.


Traction alopecia is mainly caused by damage to the dermal papilla and hair follicle, through steady pressure over time. Normally induced by various hair styling practices (e.g. use of braids, hair rollers, weaves, twists, locks, or “cornrows”) Cornrows are most frequently blamed due to the repeated steady high pressure overtime.

The pulling causes hair to loosen from its roots; however, hair loss occurs secondary to follicular inflammation and atrophy. Often the loss is symmetric and along the hairline adjacent to the temples.

Traction Alopecia can also occur due to over processing of the hair.Chemical treatments which use products such as dyes, bleaches, or relaxers can damage the keratin structure rendering the hair extremely fragile.  The hair then falls out very easily with brushing or combing.

A form of scarring alopecia also may occur in post-menopausal women, associated with inflammation of hair follicles and subsequent scarring


Individuals usually complain of itching and dandruff at first which is usually followed by patchy areas of hair loss. Other signs may include:

  • Scalp shows signs inflammation with scales and pustules.
  • Symmetrical hair loss.


In the initial stages, this hair loss is reversible but with prolonged traction,once scaring occurs and hair follicles are damaged beyond repair, alopecia can be permanent.

Hair styles that put unnecessary strain on the hair root must be changed for looser, less traumatic hair styles.

If you are going to wear your hair braided then it is advisable request that your stylist does not pull or plait them tightly and likewise hairdressers specialising in braids and locks should warn their clients of the possible dangers of prolonged tension.

To summarise the key to stopping traction alopecia is detecting it early. African-American women, who suspect they may be vulnerable to traction alopecia should change their hair styles and seek professional advice. 

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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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7 Simple Steps to Grow Black Hair Long and Strong :: An Review

How to grow black hair! This has been a topic discussed by many experts and in this article I want to disuses the simple ways you can grow an African mane long and strong! Black hair is just like any other hair; the only thing it has against it is that it is dryer than other types of hairs. This means special attention needs to be given to it if you wish to see fast growth.

There are a few facts you need to know about growing healthily African hair fast.

- Black hair grows at a rate of one half to one inch a month -this is an average only and the number can be improved upon.

- African tresses are dry tresses and as such you need to take certain steps to keep it moisturized if you want your tresses to grow.

- African hair like other hair is dead, so there is not much you can do with the dead parts, but there is lots you can do to grow a healthy African mane at the root level

Here are 7 tips that will show you how to grow black hair long and strong:

1. If you want to grow African hair long and strong, you need to keep the scalp moisturized, the best thing to use is an oil called Mira oil for the simple fact that it sets your sebum (natural oils) to an optimal level that helps grow African hair

2. Avoid relaxers and perms on your mane -these not only damage your mane, they will also poison the scalp thereby preventing your mane from growing fast. Keep your tresses natural when trying to grow it fast.

3. Avoid straighten your hair as it will dry the scalp and hair out even further, making your tresses even more susceptible to breakages and damage

4. Wear loose hairstyles as they do not pull and tug at your hair and weaken your tresses at the root level. Braids are good for growing black hair because they allow your tresses a chance to breathe and be at ease which helps African hair grow.

5. Keep your hair conditioned, again use a good herbal oil like Mira oil, a deep oil treatment will stimulate the hair follicles and allow your mane to grow at a faster rate. Use Mira oil for fast black hair growth, the oil will prevent breakages as well as promote hair growth. A deep conditioner will not only repair your mane, it will also seal in moisture.

6. To grow black hair long, shampoo your hair at least once every four days and use natural shampoo that do not strip away sebum from your scalp and hair. You need to keep your scalp and tresses clean to allow healthy African hair growth.

7. Get a scalp massage with a good herbal oil, the massage together with oil will stimulate blood flow to the scalp and allow healthy growth

If you follow these simple steps you will grow long black hair and you will never have to worry about your hair breaking or falling out again.

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