Thermal Blowouts vs. Chemical Relaxer

straightWhen it comes to African Americans’ textures of hair, it ranges from wavy, loosely curled to a very tight coil or sometimes kinky. Although these textures create different looks, it provides many  clients with the question of what styling solutions are best for their hair texture.

In early years, thermal straightening and curling was the go-to method to control texture. Later, chemical relaxers were introduced which provided the option for hair to remain straight for a longer period of time.

When chemical relaxers are applied correctly, a professional concomb-brush_-hair-relaxer-applications-800x800siders a few things (1) consultation that considers the client’s lifestyle (2) affordability to maintain (3) correct processing time and (4) professionally prescribed shampoos and treatments.

Thermal blowouts is a term used today to describe straightening or removing curls and waves from uncontrolled hair. The term is new but the overall result mirrors the old fashioned press and curl. The thing that makes it appear different is the marketing, use of oils, as well as new and improved innovation of tools. Overuse of these new styling tools on a daily basis, and sometimes weekly basis, can result in what appears to be over-processed and severely damaged hair.

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The technique of thermal blow drying is a trend that is a result of the times we live in, where having variations of styles, from wavy to straight, is a sign of contemporary American culture.

After polling hundreds of stylists throughout the beauty industry, both services are mainstays. What makes one better over the other is lifestyle and fashion. You decide. A consultation with a professional stylist is recommended when trying to decide the best option for you. Please, contact me if you have any questions.

 

Why Are Black Women Losing Their Hair?

African American girls in particular, as early as elementary school, are wearing alternative hair, tight braids and twists, again, that put undue stress on the hair and scalp. While this may serve as an enhancer and provide lifestyle convenience, it has been reported that by their early twenties, permanent hair loss is evident. This forces the use of wigs and weaves. Given the evidence above, this is certainly avoidable and, as a longtime professional in the industry, I strongly encourage caution and consult with a professional periodically when used with children. Please reference my previously written article on how synthetic fibers cause hair damage.

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Alopecia is one of the hair losses that is, in most instances, irreversible. In some cases, one can minimize the damage of the condition. Lifestyle changes in diet and reducing particular stresses on the scalp, such as hair additions, medication and chemicals can be an aid in further damage. Though, family history must be taken into consideration when diagnosing this condition.

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Alopecia

Alopecia Areata is baldness in spots about the size of a quarter that can manifest throughout the head. This type of hair loss is internal and happens when the immune system attacks hair follicles, which is  where the hair starts to grow. (WebMD.com)   Fortunately, the condition is not permanent in 90% of cases.

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Alopecia Areata

Any type of stress, such as divorce, nervousness, etc. has the ability to choke the blood supply and minimize nerve connection. As a result, the hair ceases to grow properly. The hair is ‘fed’ by blood vessels at the base of the follicle, which gives it the nourishment it needs to grow. (Viviscal.com) Once relieved of the stress factors, the nerve endings and blood supply return to normal, thus producing a better surface to grow the hair. Black-Woman-Washing-Hair-1050x700

The catagen period is when the hair is in its regressive phase in which hair is released from underneath the scalp with a white round bulb, at the follicle. New hair will be replaced, however. This happens at least once a year, not to be mistaken with daily shedding, which is 75 to 85 strands of hair per day. This is normal. Keep in mind that hair grows daily. 

Chemical abuse manifests in several ways. Each of the following has an overall affect on whether the hair is produced or not…  

1. Prescription drugs have bee links to having an affect on hair growth. Prior to taking, have a discussion with your doctor. Cancer treatments, weight loss drugs and other medications can prevent hair growth and spark hair loss.

 2. Illegal drugs, as cocaine and heroine, research shows this can also damage hair.

Overall abuse, head-related injuries, and tension on the hair and scalp due to pulling excessively and continuous braiding, twisting and consistent use of wigs and hair weaving have long term effects. The immediate appearance can certainly enhance and improve one’s self-image but over time, can be connected to permanent hair loss. Unfortunately, there is little education for consumers when it comes to long-term use of these alternative hair additions. Hair weaves or additions were never meant to improve or enhance the natural growth process of your hair. They are only temporary styling aids. To further address any concerns, consult your local hair care professional. I am also available to address your health and beauty needs via replies to this article or email me at eeub143@aol.com.

Does Wearing Weave Damage Your Hair?

I have been a hair stylist for more than 25 years. My experience has allowed me the opportunity to teach and work with many applications of hairstyling. This includes weaving hair.outre-first-lady-weaving-hair

After years of research and talking to colleagues in the business from around the world, it is unanimous that sew-in weave methods work well with most hair types. We all agree to stay away from bonding, as this also results in some form of alopecia or baldness in certain areas of the scalp. I highly caution you.

When you are considering wearing weaved hair, always have it done by a professional; someone who will provide you with a truthful hair analysis.

It is always in your best interest to be aware of the importance of maintaining a healthy condition to your hair, be it natural or chemically treated, while wearing hair weave. For best results, always use the better quality of hair for the most natural look. In most cases, when going for a natural look, less is best when it comes to the amount of hair used. Many people make the mistake of adding too much hair.

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Maintenance is very important in keeping a beautiful style, as well as a healthy scalp. Shampooing and conditioning frequently is very important. A visit to your stylist every two to four weeks for grooming and refreshing your weave is of the utmost importance. In order to properly treat the scalp and hair, the weave should be fully removed every two months. For more information on this subject, contact your professional hair stylist or myself, at eeub143@gmail.com.

 

When Cutting Your Hair Becomes a Necessity

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There are many opinions about how often we should cut our hair. The old standard says every six weeks is best for healthy hair. People in the fashion industry say twice a year is standard. Some even say phases of the moon is the best way to determine when the hair is to be cut. However, I want to give you an insider on the truth.

How Long Will a Cut Support a Style? 

If Hair Is Not Trimmed Frequently, Will It Take a Toll on Your Hair?   

As an expert stylist and educator, hairstyles like bobs, bangs and tapered looks will probably require cutting every three weeks to maintain its polished look. I base this on the fact that hair usually grows 1/2 inch per month. Such preciseness for these particular looks, this is necessary.

If your hair is treated with color, relaxers, or thermal styling tools, a minimum of 8 weeks is needed to maintain the health of your hair. If your hair is natural, with no present chemicals, this will vary, depending on your hairstyle.

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There is no one answer to fit everyone, as we are all different. You must find the sweet spots that is perfect for you. When you have questions as to when is the best time to get your hair cut, there are two important factors to consider:

  • When you can no longer achieve the hairstyle you desire.
  • When the ends of your hair is visibly damaged.

For more information, contact your personal stylist. You may contact me as well at eeub143@aol.com.

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