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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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How to Use Shea Butter For Natural Or Relaxed Black Hair :: An Review

Shea butter is an ivory coloured fat extracted from the nuts of the shea tree. It is used widely in cosmetics as a moisturizer and sometimes used in the chocolate industry as a substitute for cocoa butter.

The use of shea butter has increased in popularity in the last few years with the increase in demand for more natural products for black curly hair types. Although its popularity in the west has only increased in recent years, in some parts of Africa it has been used for hundreds of years!

The best shea butter to use is the unrefined kind as all its healing properties are still intact. The refining process apart from adding different chemicals to the shea butter raises the temperature to about 400 degrees F which makes it lose some of its healing properties. Unrefined shea butter comes in blocks or can be bought already packed in jars. It is odourless if 100% pure or can be bought ready fragranced with essential oils.

Using it on the hair can be in a variety of ways.

o You can apply it straight to damp hair. It tends to be a bit hard in its natural state but will readily melt and be absorbed when it comes in contact with the skin or hair.

o You can also make shea butter easier to apply. Place the shea butter in a double boiler and melt it on a low heat. Add a natural oil to the shea butter e.g. extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil and stir until thoroughly mixed. The natural oil should make up about ¼ the volume of the shea butter. Pour the mixture back into a jar. Due to the addition of the olive oil, the shea butter will remain relatively soft when completely cooled and set and is easier to apply to the hair.

o Another way of using shea butter is to whip it with a few other natural ingredients and essential oils to make a homemade butter. A simple recipe is below.

Shea butter crème

1. 4 tablespoons shea butter

2. 2 tablespoon cocoa butter

3. 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

4. A few drops of your favourite essential oil for fragrance

Melt the shea butter and cocoa butter in a double boiler over a low heat until melted and add the olive oil. Pour the oils into a bowl and at this point, add a few drops of the essential oil for fragrance. Put your bowl over another bowl filled with ice to allow the oils to set faster. Whisk vigorously until the mixture is light and fluffy (you may want to use an electric hand whisk for this. Spoon into a jar and enjoy!

This recipe makes an excellent hair moisturizer and sealer for both natural and relaxed black hair. It also makes a wonderful body butter!

For more black hair care articles please visit

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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 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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How to Get Rid of Black Hair Dye :: An Review

Your blond friend called you up asking for your help in removing the black hair dye that she used to experiment her looks. You agreed to help her even though you have no knowledge about the thing. If you are looking for a way to get rid of black hair dye, you have certainly come to the right place. The things that you need to do to help your friend are listed below.

  • Schedule a meet up to remove the dye as soon as possible. The success in removing black hair dye greatly depends on the time between it was applied to the time the process of removing was started. The shorter the time it took to respond the problem, the higher is the success rate but greater time between these points of time, will mean lower success chance.
  • Determine what type of hair bye was used. If she used permanent hair dye, they a hair dye remover is necessary but if she used semi permanent dye, it is recommended to just let it fade away naturally.
  • Use hair dye removing products that are trusted by many people like the L’Oreal Color Zap. These products are trusted for their quality and will leave your hair healthy after the removing the stains. They have product that are just not comparable to others.
  • Use shampoos that have reputation of removing normal hair color. The anti-dandruff shampoo called Head and Shoulders has this reputation of a little while now; if it can remove natural color, then it can remove artificial coloring.
  • Follow specific instructions carefully. Every brand of hair dye removing agents has their own set of instruction on how their product has to be used including the mixing of the powder. Neglecting these instructions might cause you to damage you stylish hair.
  • Call the expert. If you find this tips to be very tedious on your part or if you are still unsuccessful after a few tries, it tome for you to call for expert help. Hair color experts have gained enough knowledge through their studies and experience to provide you with all the answers to your prayers.

Keep in mind that black dye is one of the hardest dyes to remove. What you’re going to find out is that if you can’t get rid of it, you may want to consult with someone down at a salon. They may be able to recommend you some chemicals that you can use.

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