Thursday, 4 October 2007

Protective Styling...

Well when trying to grow long hair, you have to treat your hair like silk. Except in extreme cases, your hair will grow regardless of its condition (dry, breaking etc) its "retaining" the length that's important. You know how when you have nail polish on your nails your hair seems to grow longer? Well its the same principle, the polish acts like an extra layer against wear and tear,especially the ends which are older, usually weaker and more likely to break. Protecting your ends helps- a lot! There are various ways to style your hair while protecting those ends.

Up-dos, Buns, Phony ponies:
When your hair gets to a certain length (neck-shoulder length) it brushes against clothing, scarves etc and this friction leads to breakage. Keeping your hair up keeps your fragile ends out of harms way. You can put your hair up in a variety including using phony ponies to create curly ponies, straight ponies etc has a wide range of styles. Make sure the pony/bun is NOT tight constant pulling may cause your hairline to thin. Also if using pins make sure the tips are coated so they don't catch on your hair. Do NOT use rubberbands on your hair as they will cause breakage. Use ouchless bands (those without the metal).

When you have your hair in extensions you should try as much as you can to treat your hair the way you would if its out. So wash and deep condition at least once every 1-2 weeks max. Also use a braid spray daily to keep your own hair moisturised.

Braids or single plaits are a great and flexible protective style. There are as many braiding styles as your imagination can get. You can have it straight, curly, wavy, in twists, loc-ed. Make sure to find a braider that will not make the plaits too tight! Use Kanekalon hair or human hair (when using kanekalon) you may want to wash it in a basin of diluted shampoo first to remove any residual chemicals. If you cannot move your head from side to side your braids are too tight. Also hair (synthetic) should only be sealed using hot water, not a lighter or glue. Wash and condition your braids paying particular attention to where your own hair stops, dilute the shampoo and concentrate it on cleaning your scalp to encourage hair growth and make sure there's not residue or dirt clogging up your follicles. Use braid spray daily on the hair especially concentrating on where your hair stops.

Weave extension:
As most of us know there're a whole range of methods of applying extensions to hair, but the one I think is safest and good for your hair is sewing the track weft unto cornrows. Weaves are also a good way to try out new hair styles, cuts, when you get the urge for a drastic change test it with a weave first! As with braids make sure the cornrows are not too tight. I don't recommend keeping in weaves for extended periods of time as your hair could matt underneath the weave for me 6-8 weeks is a definite maximum. If you are leaving your hair out try to get hair that's similar in texture to yours so you don't stress your own hair by excessive heat use to get it to match the extension. So for most people of African descent you would be looking for Yaki extensions. You can now get all sorts of different closure pieces including lace closures if you want to do a full head weave (I love and recommend this).

I will be back with more protective styles ;o)

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