Unfortunately, seeing hair that's been damaged by chemical abuse is par for the course. I see way too many heads of hair that are barely hanging on due to poor relaxer application and care. This is one of those hair services that I strongly suggest you get done by a professional, not a home kit.
A good stylist will make sure he or she follows basics of relaxing black hair so that you're left with straight, smooth locks that flow. I know it can seem pricey when a box relaxer costs less than $10 and a pro wants to charge you eight times that, but when it comes to your hair, consider yourself worth it.
More relaxer info:
- 5 Signs a Relaxer Is Damaging
- Base the scalp: yes or no?
- Maintaining healthy relaxed locks
- Relaxers vs. texturizers
- Can you strip a relaxer?
- Lye vs. no-lye
- When to touch-up your relaxer
(Photo credit: i love images/Getty Images)
Anyone who's ever had locs knows that you have to begin somewhere. Although the journey to mature locs can seem long, and sometimes frustrating, it's also full of discovery.
So how do you begin? These starter loc styles may give you some ideas if you don't want to go the freeform route. They're great as stand-alone hairstyles, but can eventually become the locs of your dreams.
(Photo credit: Royalty-free Getty Images)
Hair color can really add some pop to your look. When you wear the perfect shade for you, your skin tone looks more radiant and it may also ramp up your confidence.
Blonde hair is always eye-catching and it works well for a wide range of complexions. These blonde celebrities show just how good ladies of all colors look in this hot hair color.
Whether you opt for allover blonde or you only highlight a few pieces here and there, you may just find yourself having more fun, as the saying goes...
(Keri Hilson, photo credit: Michael Buckner/Getty Images)
The 2014 NAACP Image Awards aired this past weekend, with Lupita Nyong'o (pictured above) killing it once again with her fantastic sense of style. Her hair may be short, but the number of ways she fashions different looks shows just how creative you can be even with shorter lengths.
To represent the ladies with long tresses, check out Tika Sumpter (pictured below). She had a retro vibe going on which really complemented her choice of dress.
These were a couple of my favorite looks from the night. If you missed the awards and want to see other hairstyles that graced the red carpet, this roundup of Black Hairstyles at the 2014 NAACP Image Awards features everyone from Lupita to Nia Long to Tatyana Ali.
(Tika Sumpter photo credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for NAACP Image Awards)
(Lupita Nyong'o photo credit: Jesse Grant/Getty Images for NAACP Image Awards)
While it seems like going natural would be the most, well...natural thing in the world, it's often not as easy as it sounds, especially if you choose the transitioning route over the big chop.
Even if you do chop it off and start over, there may be negativity to deal with.
How can you handle the pressure of coping with people who don't love your hair the way you do, as well as getting the styles you want when your hair doesn't want to cooperate?
These FAQs cover both of these common issues for many naturals: Handling different textures and handling negative comments. As always, feel free to chime in on how you've dealt with situations like these.
(Photo credit: Getty Images/momentimages)
It seems braids have been around forever, doesn't it? It's easy to see why, especially if you love this style. They're low-maintenance, can update your look in a hurry, and work with almost any length of hair. To make the most of a braided hairdo, remember that although it's low maintenance, you still have to care for them to avoid damaging your own hair.
Read up on braid maintenance tips, which outline simple ways to keep your braided style looking flawless, while also caring for your tresses underneath.
(Photo credit: Sara Press/Getty Images)
Hurry if you want to save 25% off 16-oz. size products at Miss Jessie's! Order by 11:59 PM today only. Use this coupon code: mjlove16oz
It's Valentine's Day, so show yourself some love!
Attention, ladies who love their wigs, weaves and braids! There is now a product line designed especially for you (but also for anyone who wants a healthier scalp).
You know that irritating itch you get when you wear these enhancements? Instead of potentially damaging your scalp with your fingernails and mussing up your style, use the special Scalp Soother tool created by salon owner and stylist Crystal Haynes. Celebrities like Regina King, Sherri Shepard and Lisa Raye have all been spotted with Scalp Soothers in hand. The goodness doesn't stop there, however, because there's an entire line of Luxe Therapy products made to work with your extensions.
Get more information on the line, especially the patent-pending Scalp Soother in my exclusive interview with Ms. Haynes!
(Photo credit: Luxe Therapy)
Which relaxer brand does your stylist (or you) use? Are you happy with it? If so, is there ever a reason you'd have to switch?
While some people love changing things related to their hair -- products, styles, colors -- others stick with a brand for life. You may have heard that changing shampoos every so often helps your hair, but is the same true for relaxers?
This FAQ gets answered in How Often Should I Change Relaxers?
What about you? Are you a loyal customer or are you always on the lookout for what's new?
The whole natural trend is probably only going to get bigger, including everything from food to beauty products to clothing. It's not always easy to identify what's really natural, however, which is why it's more important than ever to be an informed consumer.
Reading the ingredients label is always a good first step, but you can also rely on product reviews and recommendations from people and sites you trust. If you know that a brand is natural, you can usually feel comfortable shopping that brand in the future.
In the past, I've reviewed several Aubrey Organics and JASON shampoos and conditioners -- two companies that are committed to a natural approach to total body care. Like other brands I admire, they don't cater to one particular ethnicity or texture -- when you see them on your health food store shelves, they shouldn't be segregated.
In many cases, all-natural or close to all-natural products are worth the cost, simply in terms of what they offer the health of your hair. You can often see and feel the difference right away.
- Aubrey Organics GPB Shampoo - Lavender and Ylang Ylang
- Aubrey Organics GPB Conditioner - Lavender and Ylang Ylang
- JASON Natural Apricot Shampoo
- JASON Natural Apricot Conditioner
(Photo credit: Zero Creatives/Getty Images)