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About: Patrick Wellington

Patrick Wellington, veteran hair stylist and founder of Wellington Hair Salon, has one simple objective for all his clients – hair that glows with inner health. Formerly a senior stylist at the world renowned John Atchison Hair Salon, Patrick Wellington has over 20 years of exceptional experience styling celebrities, executives, and exclusive clientele who demand the very best in cutting edge hair styling and hair care.

Recent Posts by Patrick Wellington

Planning for Bad Hair Days

Bad Hair DaysBad hair days! We all have them and we all hate them. It’s like just when you think you have gotten your life together, your world reminds you of just how little you know about “adulting.”

No matter your hair type, texture, length or strength, having your hair go from fab to flab can alter your entire look. If I am really being honest, it can alter your whole attitude. There is just something about the feeling of knowing your hair is on point.

So what do you do? When you run into those moments in life where your hair has a mind of its own, the best action is pro-action. Yep, that’s right. You have to prepare for bad hair days. It’s like having car insurance. You hope you never have to use it, but you know it’s in place just in case you need it. Planning for the possible bad hair day is really the only way to fix a bad hair day.

Here are some tips and ideas so you can create your bad hair day survival kit.

Twists/Braids

Let’s face it; natural hair can be a pain in the you know what. Yes, it is endearing, and flashy and powerful, but it takes a lot to get that Angela Davis fro. If your twist-out or wash-n-go becomes a “no,” opt for twists or braids. You can easily and quickly do the tried and true twin French braids. Or you can do a few twists and pin your hair.

Pinning

Which brings me to the first tool in your arsenal- Bobby pins. You should always have these on hand. They are cheap and nothing does the job quite like them. The thing about bobby pins is that they aren’t just for “fixing” bad hair days. You can use them to PREVENT bad hair days. Don’t shy away from using them while doing your hair. Even if you don’t think you need them. The truth is, you probably do.

Product

Again for the naturals, it is a good idea to have a travel size container of your “product of the day” or some kind of conditioner you can slap on your hair when it becomes unruly. Better yet, keep several of your faves in your car or at your job in a handy pouch. It is a relief knowing that you are able to fix what Mother Nature (wind, temperatures, climate, atmosphere) has messed up before or as soon as you reach your destination.

Travel Hair Appliances

This tip may sound extreme, but I promise it is reasonable. Bad hair days are what travel size flat irons are for. Don’t think it vain or shallow if you have one in your purse. Especially if you are wearing your hair straight or perhaps you didn’t do a good job wrapping it the night before. Get one, keep it close and use it when the time comes.

Hair Tie

Alas, when all else fails do not fear the ponytail. The ponytail is your friend. It is a faithful go to; an understanding alternative that happily welcomes your hair into a safe and non-judgmental position. If the flat iron isn’t’ working (or you don’t have one) and the twists aren’t cutting it, there is no shame in putting your hair in a ponytail. They get a bad rep sometimes because too many women in the past have “abused” the style. But having a hair tie on deck will always serve its purposes when needed. Go to the bathroom, gather yourself together, put your hair in a ponytail and keep it moving. End of story.

Bad hair days don’t have to ruin your day. Be prepared, do your best and if all else fails, do what you have to in order to keep yourself going.

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Summer Hair Styles and Ideas

Summer Hair Styles and IdeasSpring is here and we all know what that means. Summer is literally knocking on our doors. We love the idea of everything warm weather brings. Barbeques, swimming pools and of course, trips around to the beach. Summer is arguably the best times of the year, but one of the things that is often times forgotten is the need for extra care for our hair.

Let’s face it, we get so caught up in our daily responsibilities that we don’t consider how our routines affect our hair. The preoccupation we have with making every summer second count doesn’t leave us with much time to think about or even do our hair sometimes. So let’s talk about summer protective styles.

A protective style is not only for the woman with natural hair. Black women who relax their hair also need to give their tresses a break every now and then. Aside from not having to constantly style your hair, protective styling is just good practice.

Here are some tried, true and trendy protective styling ideas to try this summer.

Crochet Braids

These are extremely “in” right now. The thing that makes crochets so popular is the fact that you can do so many different hair styles with them and you’re not limited to just braids. So many use the crochet technique to install twists and even faux locs. This is a fast, easy and relatively inexpensive protective style.

Braids

Braids are a no brainer and a style that many women go to without even thinking. They are super convenient and the great thing about them is that they last. A lot of women wear them for months and while some may scoff at that notion, you are sure to get your money’s worth. Plus, there are effective techniques for cleansing your hair while you have braids so you don’t have to worry about unsightly build up.

Weave

If you want to forego the braids or crochets, then having a weave installed is an ideal protective option. Nowadays, you can have pretty much any hair texture or style sewn into your own for a unique look. Also, gone are the days where you had to leave some of your hair out for your style to look natural. With silk base or lace front closures, a fresh sew in never looked so good. They give a natural appearance and allows for a true protective style.

Twists

Naturals have a great opportunity to take advantage of the texture of their hair to create an authentic style for the summer. Getting your own hair twisted or twisting it yourself serves as a way to show off your hair while keeping it 100% natural.  Let’s be honest, if you have gone through the process of laying off the creamy crack to grow out your hair, you deserve to show it off. Twists can last a while, and you can easily and quickly style them if you care to. The options you have with twisting your own hair are limitless.

Summer Routine

If you don’t want weave, braids or any of the other suggestions listed above, that’s fine. But you should still have a summer hair care routine that differs from how to take care of your hair throughout the year. We all know that the sun can damage our hair. Depending on where you live, some climates are harsher than others, especially on natural hair. Coming up with a routine that enables you to wear your hair and maintain the moisture and styling flexibility is paramount. There are a lot of good, home based DIY recipes that will greatly aid in taking care of your hair. From olive oil to lemon juice to mayonnaise, keep your hair in tiptop shape during the hottest months of the year.

Summer is about having fun, relaxing and discovering new things. So make sure your hair is ready for the adventure.

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Best Vitamins Supplements for Hair Growth

Hair GrowthWho doesn’t want long flowing hair? Women undertake a lot to achieve the length their heart desires. From how they wash their hair to how they detangle it, everyone has a method.

While you can experiment on your own to figure out what works for you, there is a very popular hair growth approach that countless women have turned to in the hopes of seeing rapidly effective results- hair vitamins/supplements. Some people argue their effectiveness, believing that they work more like a placebo. Others have taken the plunge and use hair vitamins with impressive results.

So, if you have heard about supplements that claim to grow your hair (and even your nails), but have been skeptical to try them, here is a list of some of the best on the market.

Hairfinity

These are probably the most popular hair vitamins out right now. Not only has the company been successful with its Facebook marketing, but they have also gotten the endorsements of celebrates like Keshia Knight Pulliam of The Cosby Show fame and Rasheeda Frost from Love and Hip Hop Atlanta. People have jumped on board the Hairfinity wagon and from the looks of it, have had satisfying results. With a formula of “essential ingredients” that nourish your hair “from the inside out,” the consensus is that it works.

Biotin

Many women use this B complex group vitamin without any other ingredients to help strengthen and grow their hair. It even contributes to healing brittle nails, another selling point for most folks. One of the most appealing aspects about Biotin is that it is water-soluble without having any side effects. There are a lot of other benefits beyond fabulous hair too. It also helps metabolize carbohydrates, fats, and amino acids. Finally, it works wonders for your skin.

Viviscal Extra Strength Hair Nutrient Tablets

Viviscal is a classic vitamin, which “promotes hair growth from within.” Men and women use it as it has proven to be a tried and true method for people of all ethnicities. The thing about this supplement is that the makers of Vivscal have taken into consideration all the factors that can keep our hair from growing. This includes stress, hormonal changes, over styling and even a poor diet. They pride themselves on having “proprietary marine complex AminoMar (450 mg per serving), along with Zinc, Vitamin C and Horsetail extract” a combination they claim to be the reason for such favorable results. If you are desperately looking to grow your hair quickly, Viviscal is worth the try.

Treasured Locks Hair Growth Supplement

This supplement is created specifically for black hair. Treasured Locks has over 300 rave reviews from customers who are more than satisfied with their results from using the product. Calling it “the most advanced hair supplement available,” Treasured Locks is “a natural blend of high-quality time-released vitamins, herbs, minerals, protein and nutritional supplements.” The idea behind their combination of ingredients is to provide a power packed supplement that gives nutrients that most people are deficient in because of bad eating, stress, and even pollution. One of the selling points for Treasured Locks is that black hair need extra love and care because of everyday habits. Their product’s expected results are not only healthier locks, but it’s also longer hair through “a doubling of the hair growth rate.” With essential ingredients like time released Vitamin B and C complexes, saw palmetto and protein, Treasured Locks is an ideal option indeed.

Taking care of your hair whether, you have natural or relaxed tresses, takes a concentrated effort that involves trying different methods to achieve the results you want. It’s within your reach. All you have to do is take the time to discover what works for you.

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Working Out with Natural Hair

Working Out with Natural HairBelieve it or not, a lot of women forego working out because of their hair. From not wanting to sweat it out to not wanting to deal with it after, natural hair should not stop you from exercising.

The notion is understandable. Natural hair can be a task to maintain, and when you add the sometimes harsh conditions of working out, it can be a great hindrance to your desire to go to the gym. It already takes a lot of effort for many to get motivated enough to committee to a workout routine, don’t let your hair be an excuse to skip out on some much need heart pumping action.

If you have natural hair, there are ways you can protect it by keeping it fresh while keeping it moving through healthy activities.

First let me reiterate to you the importance of working out. I know that it can sometimes fall by the wayside so to speak because our lives are already so busy. But even just a little bit of activity can go a very long way. If you don’t have an hour or two hours four days a week to set aside, then do small increments. As the saying goes, every little bit counts. Don’t become overwhelmed with the thought of having to carve out a huge block of time for yet another thing on you schedule. Start small and build your way up.

With that, here are some tips on how to exercise with natural hair.

Tie It Up

One of the things that woman don’t like about working out as a natural is that the sweat causes their hair pouf. This happens when the roots come into contact with moisture and if you are wearing your hair straight, it can be especially frustrating. You can curtail the “sweating out” of your hair by tying it up. Wrap your hair and use a scarf to tie it firmly around your head. This allows your hair to stay in place and remain straight even when sweating.

Moisturizing

Another thing that keeps naturals from working out is dryness. For some, exercise causes a lot of build up in the hair, which can lead to dry, brittle looking hair. Here, it is critical to find a good product that you can put on your hair before and after working out. If you don’t want to wash your hairs every time you have a Zumba class, then coming up with a routine to ensure it’s cleanliness and moisture is key.

Choose Different Workouts

Sometimes choosing to do a class instead of running on the treadmill or taking a hike over lifting weights can help with the overall condition of your hair during a workout. We all know that certain exercises make us sweat more than others. It is okay to choose one that will have less of an effect on your hair. You can schedule switching up your routines throughout the week, which can also help you decide what you will do to your hair and when. Remember, it’s all about getting out there and moving.

Protective Styling

When all else fails and you really want to incorporate a consistent workout routine into your life, get a protective style. It can be braids, twists, faux locs or crochets. The great ting about the options is that in most cases, it allows for easy cleaning of your hair, easy access to oiling your scalp and quick styling. Protective styles serve so many great purposes including hair growth as well.

There are workout options from which to choose for everyone, and your hair should not be the reason you miss out on any of them. Commit to a better you and find a way to make things work for you and your hair.

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How to Fix Damaged Hair

How to Fix Damaged HairEveryone, or just about, has dealt with damaged hair at some point or time in their lives. It is such a nuisance, as a lot of times, it sneaks up on you and before you know it, you’re wondering “what happened?”

Our hair deals with a lot of stress that we are not even keen to. From pulling it, putting heat to it, and the impact of the elements, we have to give extra attention to our tresses.

If you have found that your hair has succumbed to your lifestyle, there are things that you can do to help bring it back to a healthy state. It will take time, but you have to look at the process as a marathon and not a sprint.

So to help you get your hair back, here are some ideas for you to utilize to restore damaged hair.

Professional Hair Stylist

If you really want to get your hair together, consider getting a hair stylist. These individuals are trained and know how to give your hair the best care possible. They have gone to school to learn exactly how products work and are of great value to many people. You want to make sure that whomever you choose is skilled in your hair type. So if you are a natural, it is in your best interest to go to a cosmetologist that specializes in managing natural hair because naturals have very delicate hair that is easily damaged.

Cut It

This may be a good time for you to try “new things.” And by “new things” I mean cutting your hair. I get it, a lot of women stay away from doing this because they are taught “long hair, don’t care.” That aside, consider cutting your hair. Maybe even cutting it off entirely. There is nothing wrong with having short hair and it’s even more empowering when it is by choice. Cutting your hair may be the new start you have been looking for. It is better to have shorter hair that you are starting over with than damaged hair. Period.

DIY Moisturizers

Damaged hair is not something to take lightly because it just doesn’t look good. It also doesn’t curl well, or hold up well when styled. You owe it to yourself and your hair to do something about it. If you don’t have the money to go routinely to a salon or if you are not brave enough (and it’s okay) to cut your hair off, then do it yourself. Making treatments at home is an excellent way to get exactly what you need onto your hair. The best part of this option is that it is inexpensive and can be done with many ingredients you have in your house. From olive oil, to coconut oil to avocados and eggs, research the best recipes and start fixing your hair.

Change Your Habits

The health of your hair comes down to what you do on a regular basis. If you apply heat every day, you are damaging your hair. If you don’t give it adequate moisture, you are creating an environment that will lead to having damaged hair. Regardless if your hair is relaxed or natural, there are things that you can do to lessen the effect of your habits. So if you have relaxed hair, wrap, roll or flexi rod it every night. That way you are not getting up in the morning applying heat from a curling or flat iron. Naturals can twist, braid, roll and even wrap their hair too. You have to change your habits to get different results. It is within your grasp so find new ways to get the looks you want.

It’s so important to put in the time and effort your hair needs. Damaged hair is not the end of the world, but it should definitely be the start of a more conscious and purposeful hair regiment.

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What to Eat for Healthy Hair

What to Eat for Healthy HairThe food we put into our bodies has the power to do more than just make us feel good. Of course they can make us look good, but did you know that what we consume can make our hair look good too?

When your diet consists of wholesome foods, the benefits far surpass an attractive waistline. Let us consider all the ways in which food can make our hair shine, grow, thicken and be all around good to us.

To help you get a better grasp of what you can eat for healthy hair, here are some foods and the benefits they offer your tresses.

Eggs- Protein

Eggs are a great source protein for your body and for your hair. Protein gives nutrients that are crucial in making hair strong. When we don’t get enough of it (the healthy kind) our hair can become dry and brittle. Also, when our diets are low in protein,  we can experience hair loss, so make sure you get some into your daily meal plans. Along with eggs, fish and turkey are excellent sources of protein. If you are a vegetarian, nuts and legumes are the way to go for you.

Broccoli- Iron

Who doesn’t love a bowl of this mighty green steamed and seasoned to perfection? This is where you get the iron your hair needs to help build follicles by giving you a rich blood supply. When your serum ferritin is low, you can become anemic. Anemia can negatively affect your hair growth cycle, which can also lead to shedding. You want to make sure the nutrient supply for your hair follicles are always at the highest levels because it not only affects your hair, but lack of iron can cause fatigue as well. You need energy to go throughout your day and iron is a source in your body that needs refueling constantly. Another ideal food is lentils.

Blueberries-Vitamin C

You need your vitamin C, which not only boosts your immune systems, but also gives you killer hair. When fruits like blueberries are eaten with iron-rich foods, the combination helps your body absorb VC better. Vitamin C also is an excellent source of antioxidants and enables your body to produce collagen that builds the hair shaft capillaries. Guava, kiwi fruits, oranges, papaya are yummy additions to any diet that are just as enjoyable as they are helpful.

Liver- Biotin

Biotin is a vital a vitamin imperative for hair health. If you don’t have enough of it, your hair will be brittle and you will experience breakage, not to mention a lack in hair growth. There are pills that you can take to get the biotin you need, which have really become popular amongst individuals wanting to grow their hair. But there are biotin rich foods that can give you what you need too. While a lot of people may not care for liver, it is an amazing source of this popular hair growth resource. You can also get what you need from egg yolks and soy flour.

Salmon- Omega 3

There is no getting around the benefits of Omega 3. Also available in pill form, why take a capsule when you can enjoy the delicious intake of fish (the primary source of Omega 3)? Salmon, along with avocado and pumpkin, gives you the natural oil your scalp needs to stay hydrated. Hydration is a key in maintaining soft, and moisturized hair, especially if you are natural. Get some Omega 3 in your life and take advantage of all the ways it helps your body.

Healthy eating for your hair may seem like a new concept, but it works! Your body will thank you and your hair will too.

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DIY Hair Moisturizers for Dry Hair

Dry HairWintertime can be harsh on your hair. The dryness, the coldness and the oft times fidget temperatures can put a lot of stress on your mane.

If you are a natural, you know that crunchy, brittle hair is not a good feeling. It is embarrassing and gives the impression that you aren’t taking care of your hair. For most women of color, that is not the case. Many times the lack of moisture comes down to using the wrong products.

While there are brands on the market that defiantly do their best to make products with healthy, less harmful ingredients, the best kind of moisturizer to help dry hair is the one you can make right in the comfort of your own home.

So, to help you get to a place of better hair care, here are some amazing creations you can whip up on your own to help bring your tresses back to life.

Avocado Whipped Peppermint Honey Mask

It is no secret that avocado is one of the best things you can feed your body. Rich in all kinds of good fats, it is a powerhouse food that does wonders for your hair. With its proteins and natural oils, your hair is yearning for it. You can whip up a nice batch of peppermint oil, honey, and avocado for a mask that may be just what you need to restore a sense of balance to your hair.

Simply mash up one or two avocados, depending on the volume of your hair. Add in two tablespoons of honey, a few drops of lavender and a couple drops of peppermint oil. Mix it up and leave in for about 30 minutes after shampooing then rinse and style. The mask will not only feel good on your hair but it will also leave it smelling amazing.

Banana Deep Conditioner

Bananas are yummy but did you know that their potassium and other great properties can strengthen your hair? They also help by minimizing breakage and restoring elasticity. Add in some coconut milk and honey and you have a recipe for some really great hair. Bananas are packed with Vitamins A, C and E as well as with B6. Who wouldn’t want to treat their hair to all of that?

All you have to do is cut up a ripe banana, add two tablespoons of coconut milk and a tablespoon of coconut oil. Finally, add the two tablespoons of honey and you are good to go. Leave it in for 20 to 30 minutes and see for yourself the improvement in your hair.

Pumpkin Hair Mask

Pumpkin is not just good for lattes and muffins. The super food has a host of antioxidants, beta-carotene, and Vitamin C, not to mention a much needed dose of magnesium it offers. All of this and more are necessary for our hair. When you add in coconut oil and honey, you have a potent blend of life-giving ingredients that can bring even the driest hair back to a naturally moisturized state. You can even make several batches at a time and store the treatments for later.

You have the option of using canned pumpkin or fresh pumpkin. Of course, the latter will take a little more work, so it all comes down to what you have time and or are willing to do.

Take a can of pumpkin puree or 1 ½ cup of strained pumpkin pureed and add ¼ cup of coconut oil along with two tablespoons of honey. Whisk the concoction together and add it to your hair until it’s evenly distributed. Let it sit for about 15 minutes then rinse and style as usual.

These are all dynamic and safer ways to get the results you not only want but need. Give them a try and see how they shape up compared to store brands.

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Best Tapered Style for Your Face Shape

tapered styleIn the natural hair community, there seems to be a kind of stigma that surrounds styling one’s hair- you can’t wear it short. I mean yes, a lot of naturals naturally have short hair because they have trouble growing it, but aside from that, a good majority strive for long flowing tresses, and that’s okay. There is just something about a stylized, tapered cut that can take your hair to the next level.

Let’s talk about the teeny weeny afro (TWA). They are just as in and trendy as Bantu knots and twist outs. The beauty of natural hair is the versatility it offers and believe it or not, tapered cuts are super versatile.

So what does a tapered natural hairstyle look like on you? That’s a good question. A lot of women stray from cutting their hair because they fear a not so favorable outcome. However, there are some styles better suited for you based on the shape of your face.

To put your mind at ease and to help you understand the power of the tapered cut, here are a few tips on tapered styles based on face shape.

Oval Face

A wider forehead and prominent cheekbones characterize this face shape. So you want to make sure you show off your assets here. A good tapered cut for you will be something short on the side and longer, thicker on the top. This allows you to bring attention to your cheekbones and gives you room to really play with accessories without having too much going on.

Long Face

With this face shape, all of your features are somewhat elongated, and your chin has prominence. You can get away with a lot and by a lot I mean nothing. Yes, you can totally rock an all-over fade and be edgy, fly and chic all at the same time. If a fade is too riskay for you, go with a shaped TWA that’s evenly shaped all over.

Round Face

This is a great face shape but can also be a hit or miss when it comes to tapering. A round face shape is usually characterized by a width and length that are pretty much the same, and the face is widest at the cheeks. I have to admit that this shape sometimes gets a bad rep as many women feel like long hair works best or is most flattering. But with this one, volume is key to making the tapered cut work. I suggest a combination of a fade and a TWA. Fade it on the sides and around the back while allowing for a lot to play with on the top. You can rock this hairstyle in so many ways, and it allows you to mess around with styling options.

Heart Face

The heart shaped face tapers prominently toward the chin making it somewhat pointy on some people. With this face shape, you can pull off a “high top” fade. Yes, I am talking about 90’s high top. Because your features are mostly balanced, you have a prime opportunity to do whatever you want with your hair. A “high top” gives you a lot of room to show your personality. It also enables some fun weave/extension options. Braid or twist your hair while in this style and see how funky you feel.

With the various face shapes (there are others) one tapered hairstyle seems to be a go to for all women with natural hair- the Mohawk. In the past, only punk rockers or attention seekers would amazement a room with this hair style, but today, it is perfectly acceptable to rock at any time, in any way. It is very easy and quick to do. In fact, you don’t even need a tapered cut to rock a Mohawk.

Don’t let the idea of what natural hair should be prevent you from exploring all that it is.

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How to Elongate Natural Hair

UntitledThe natural hair movement is a powerful statement that black women have been making for a long time. Living life as natural as possible is very important to a lot of women and one of the ways they express that personal truth is through wearing their hair in its natural state.

Now of course, there is nothing wrong with relaxing your hair or choosing to wear weave as it comes down to the old saying “to each its own.” But for those who rock natural hair, there are times when a fro is not the look you want. And that’s okay.

There is so much versatility with natural hair and you don’t have to use harsh heat or chemicals to experience all the creativity your hair allows. There are tricks and tips you can incorporate into your hair regimen to help aide in elongating your tresses because let’s face it, sometimes as a natural you want to show off your length. However, due to shrinkage, which varies by hair type, you can miss out on some prime opportunities to wear certain styles.

So to help you manage your hair just a little bit more, here are a few ways to achieve elongation without applying heat.

Banding

This may not seem like an ideal method, but using small bands to elongate your curls is a very effective, safe and easy way to achieve some great results. What you do here is wrap a small band around and down pieces of your hair stretching it as you go. Depending on your length it will take one to two bands. For best results, do it right after washing your hair while it is still wet.

Flexi Rods

Now if you are looking to knock out to things at the same time, use flexi rods. These “rollers” are so easy to use and are easy to wear and sleep in. You can do one of two things here: a) Two strand twist your hair and then flexi rod the twits or b) just flexi rod your hair piece by piece. It doesn’t matter if your hair is wet or dry just know that you will need several hours for your hair to dry in the rods.

Braid/Twist Out

This is one of the most popular ways to achieve elongation because it doesn’t take a lot of effort and can last several days after the initial step. The great thing about braid and twist outs is that you can do so many different hairstyles after to make it new each day. What is key in making sure you get optimal results is the products you chose to use. It is always a slippery slope in trial and error when trying to find the right moisturizers, but it makes all the difference in the world once you do so keep at it if you haven’t found your go to.

Corn Rolls

This method is fairly simple and it is a go to for a lot of naturals. You can do as little as two jumbo braids or as many as five. The number is up to you as it depends on the length of your hair and the effect you want to achieve. Ultimately, you can’t go wrong with two, neatly braided corn rolls. The results will be nice and give you good elongation.

No matter which method you choose, as mentioned above, the key to any hairstyle, regardless if you are stretching your hair or not, is to make sure you are using the best products. I recommend hair milks, moisturizers and other hair creams that have the fewest amount of harsh chemicals, like sulfates. You need to make sure your hair is nourished pretty much on a consistent basis so put in the effort to take care of it.

Healthy, beautiful natural hair is no “picnic in the park” by any means, but it is achievable, powerful and worth it.

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Braided Beauties: How To Maintain Natural Hairstyles

Many natural-haired women use braided hairstyles to give their hair a break from heat styling and to minimize its exposure to the elements. While braided hairstyles are supposed to be protective, some women have trouble with thinning, dryness or even breakage once they remove their braids. This could be because they aren’t properly caring for their braids. Do you want to learn how to maintain braided natural hairstyles? Here are a few tips to help you keep your hair strong and healthy before, while and after it is braided.

Before

Prior to installing braids, it’s best to thoroughly wash and condition your hair. If you have been chemically relaxing your hair, you should consider coming into the salon to get a professional protein treatment before braiding it. When it does comes time to braid your natural hair, make sure they aren’t too tight as this could result in weakness or breakage.

During

Just because your hair is braided doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be regularly washing and conditioning it. While your braids are in, you should be washing your hair and cleaning your scalp at least once or twice a week. To wash your hair while it’s braided, simply split your hair into sections, apply a sulfate-free shampoo to your fingertips and then rub it into your scalp using circular motions once section at a time. When it’s time to rinse your hair, bend down and
let the sudsy water fall over your braids. Once you have rinsed out the shampoo, you should then condition your braids with a conditioner such as Pantene Pro-V’s Truly Natural Hair Deep Conditioner. Let the conditioner sit in the braids for a few minutes and then rinse it out. Turn off the water and squeeze the excess moisture out of your braids before using a soft towel to dry them in sections. Be sure you are squeezing your braids with the towel and not rubbing them as this will cause tangles and frizz. Moisturizing your scalp is key to maintaining healthy braided hair, which is why it is recommended that you then spritz a leave-in conditioner on your braids. We suggest you try conditioning sprays such as Alba Botanica’s Hawaiian Leave-In Conditioning Mist or Cream of Nature’s Strength and Shine Leave-In Conditioner. Anytime you feel your scalp getting dry or itchy, spray one of these soothing conditioners to keep it moisturized between washes. When you go to bed each night, make sure you are protecting
your braids by wrapping them with a silk scarf, wearing a sating sleeping cap or sleeping on a satin pillowcase.

After

It’s important to never leave your braids in too long as this could cause trouble when it’s time to finally remove them. Typically, you should wear a braided hairstyle for about 2-5 weeks, 6 weeks max. When you do remove your braids, it’s crucial that you condition and detangle your hair before washing it. You may also want to consider coming into our natural hair salon here in NYC to get a professional protein treatment. Braided hairstyles are not only cute, they’re also protective and low-maintenance. Use these tips to maintain and extend the life of your braids! If you need any more natural hair care advice, we advise you make an appointment with one of the experienced stylists here at our natural hair salon.

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