7 Steps to Caring for Braid & Twist Extensions

If you’re like me, Protective styling is your number one choice for growing your hair. When the hair is in braids or twists (and weaves, manipulation is low — which means better growth and retention. As we know, retention is important! Here are the “7 Steps to Caring for Braid & Twist Extensions.”

1. Prep your hair by deep conditioning
Before you get to twisting/braiding, make sure you deep condition your hair first. Choose your favorite deep conditioner for the treatment. I usually go with a cholesterol-based conditioner (Queen Helene Super Cholesterol Conditioning Cream). Why? Fats, oils, and cholesterol are great for the hair strand since they help the hair absorb more moisture.

2. Braiding/twisting the hair
When you’re braiding or twisting your hair, make sure that you use less braiding hair for the hairline. The hairline is very delicate and too much of the braiding hair can put a lot of stress on it. As for the rest of your hair, don’t braid/twist too tight. Tension on the scalp can cause growth retardation (lack of or slow hair growth).

3. Washing braid & twist extensions
Every two weeks, wash and condition your braids/twists. Make sure to dilute your shampoo and conditioner with water (50/50). When washing, pour the mixture over your braids/twists and scalp, let it sit for a few minutes, rinse, and repeat with the conditioner mix. When you finish, blot the excess water out with a t-shirt (T-shirts absorb more water, which means faster drying).

4. Moisturizing & oiling
To keep your hair soft and supple, it is imperative that you moisturize a few times a week (2 times a week is the minimum). Oiling the scalp with a natural oil (Coconut oil, Jojoba oil, etc) can also help.

5. Re-do your hairline, nape, and sides every 2-3 weeks
While you don’t necessarily have to re-do the nape and sides, re-doing the hairline is important. As mentioned in Step 2, the hairline is fragile, so as it grows, the added hair puts a lot of weight on it. Re-doing the hairline will help save your hairline from breakage!

6. Protect your hair nightly
Even though your hair is braids/twists, you still have to protect it at night. Sleep with a satin/silk scarf every night!

7. Taking down braid & twist extensions
After taking out your braids, make sure you detangle your hair thoroughly. Detangle with your fingers and then a detangling comb/brush. Afterward, deep condition with a conditioner of your choice (I would go with the one I use in Step 1). You can either let your hair breathe for a week or two or you can go back into extensions. Your choice. Most opt for letting the hair breathe, but some go back into braids.

Remember to always keep extensions in for a maximum of two months.

Twist Extension Suggestions
Janet Collection Afro Marley Braid
Janet Collection Afro Kinky

Braid Extension Suggestions
Deni Cali Jumbo Braid
Janet Collection Jumbo Braid

Product Suggestions
Queen Helene Super Cholesterol Conditioning Cream
Lekair Cholesterol Plus Strengthening Conditioning Cream
Luster’s S-Curl Moisturizer/Activator
African Royale BRX Braid Spray
Coconut Oil
Jojoba Oil

TCHD’s Guide to Healthy Relaxed Hair

We all desire longer, stronger, and healthier hair. But how many of us actually get to the hair length we desire? I will give you the best tips I can to help you on your hair journey.

Get a hair cut!

If you’re new to the hair care game, I suggest getting a trim to clip off those damaged ends so that you can have a fresh start. Holding on to hair with split ends is just asking for trouble!

Shampoo once (or twice) a week.

It is essential that you shampoo at least once a week with a moisturizing shampoo. Shampooing less can actually make the hair drier and more prone to breakage.

Condition your hair.

After shampooing, it’s important to put some moisture back in those tresses.

Deep condition after EVERY wash!

No matter your hair type, deep conditioning is a MUST! No ifs, ands, or buts. If possible, always do so with a plastic cap and under a dryer for 15-20 minutes. Why? This allows the deep conditioner to penetrate the inner layers of the hair strand. If you rather not sit under a dryer, you can DC without heat for 45-60 minutes or overnight. You can use either a moisturizing conditioner or moisturizing and protein conditioner mixed together.

Always use a leave-in.

Doing so will reduce breakage, moisturize the hair, and of course reduce tangles. Another thing, if you air dry, it helps a bunch!

Reduce heat usage.

Excessive use of heat causes damage. Plain and simple. But if you MUST use heat, keep it to a minimum. Once a month should suffice. Also, make sure your hot tools are ionic! And always, always, always USE A HEAT PROTECTANT!

Clarify/chelate once a month.

Products buildup on the hair after a while so these special types of shampoos eliminate the residue which means your products will in turn keep working. Unlike clarifying shampoos which only rid the hair of surface buildup, chelating shampoos go deeper and remove nearly ALL the buildup.

Use a Reconstructor once a month.

Reconstructors are designed to temporarily fill in the gaps in the hair shaft. They also realign and seal the cuticle while restoring elasticity to the hair.

Detangle the RIGHT way.

From ends to roots. Make sure you do so in sections to minimize breakage. And make sure you use a wide-toothed comb only.

Moisturize AND seal daily or every other day.

Moisturizing the hair keeps it nice and soft which means more manageable hair. Sealing, which is just rubbing a little bit of natural oil (Coconut, Jojoba, or Olive) on the hair after moisturizing, keeps the moisture in place.

Massage your scalp DAILY!

I can’t stress the importance of scalp massages. Scalp massaging increases the hair growth by 5%. When you massage your scalp, you’re allowing blood to flow to the scalp which promotes hair growth.

Keep your hair protected at night.

Before bed, make sure you tie your up with a SATIN OR SILK scarf. Cotton scarves suck the moisture right out of your hair.

Wear protective styles!

This isn’t mandatory, but it does help. Keeping your up and away from your clothes keeps your hair from rubbing against them, which means less breakage. You can rock ponytails, buns, braids, sew-ins, etc.

Avoid hair things that DAMAGE your hair.

Fine-toothed combs, ponytail holders with metal bands, rubberbands, the list goes on. Just stick with a wide-toothed comb and metal-free ponytail holders.

Relax only YOUR NEW GROWTH.

Do not for any reason relax your whole hair (unless it’s a virgin relaxer). Make sure you also keep your already processed hair protected with petroleum jelly or a natural oil.

Take your vitamins.

If your diet isn’t so healthy, I recommend you take vitamins like Iron, B-complex, Biotin, or MSM. These vitamins are great for hair growth. You can always buy a multivitamin or a supplement designed for hair.

Drink WATER!

Make sure you drink at least 48-64 ounces worth of water daily. By doing so, you are removing toxins from your body which means healthier hair AND scalp. Not to mention healthier skin all over.

Take pictures!

Keeping track of your hair allows you to see how much it has improved.

Transitioning? Stretching? Helpful Tips!

What is the most difficult part of transitioning/stretching? Keeping the new growth soft and manageable of course! We here at TCHD present you with some awesome product suggestions that can help you along your transition or stretch:

Hair Rules™ Quench Deep Conditioner

This daily, ultra-rich conditioning and softening treatment promotes suppleness, manageability and shine in parched, spongy, frizzy and lackluster hair. Formulated with honey and glycerin to enhance moisture penetration, protect against breakage and encourage hair’s natural tendency to curl. Super-conditioning Shea butter, coconut and olive oils, with extracts of avocado and jojoba keeps kinky, curly and wavy hair healthy and lustrous.

Hair Rules™ Kinky Curling Cream

This amazing, ultra-moisturizing curling cream transforms spongy ‘fro and kinks into bouncy, luscious spirals, simply and effortlessly. Stretches and defines tightly wound tresses without chemical or thermal manipulation. Eliminates shrinkage and banishes frizz in a single step for wash-and-go results.

Curls™ “Transitioning Diva” Kit

This kit is packed with four products designed to ease the stress of transitioning. It includes a sulfate-free shampoo, conditioner, a moisturizer (with Sunscreen!), and of course a finishing cream that has ingredients to help soften the line of demarcation.

Mizani™ Thermasmooth

THERMASMOOTH is MIZANI’s Salon-Exclusive Synergistic Smoothing System designed to smooth, treat and protect hair throughout its 4 step process. With serious consideration of the effects of heat on hair, it is critical that conditioners protect against breakage and internal moisture lost. MIZANI, the global leader in hair conditioning treatment technology for excessively curly hair continues to lead the healthy hair charge with the new innovative technology of C3 SMOOTHING COMPLEX – Ceramides, coconut oil and Cationic Polymers, that offer weightless protection for long-lasting, frizz-free, smooth style.

How to: The Frohawk

Step 1

Wet hair and add a leave-in or moisturizer. I make sure that my hair is pretty damp and stretched to make the frohawk bigger.

Step 2

Brush side of hair or smooth with hand. I prefer to brush my hair down with my detangling brush.

Step 3

Pin the hair down with bobby pins, barrettes, or hair clips. For my frohawk, I use about four hair clips on each side. Make sure you use small ones!

Step 4

Repeat steps 2 & 3 with the other side.

P.R: Oyin Handmade Burnt Sugar Pomade

Overall Rating: Great! (9/10)

Product Name: Oyin Handmade Burnt Sugar Pomade
Price Range: $10 (4 oz)
Company: Oyin Handmade (http://www.oyinhandmade.com/)
Catch Phrase: Does your hair love oils? Our “Burnt Sugar” Pomade is a nourishing all-vegetable pomade and styling product named for the uniquely translucent, shimmery quality of warm, homemade caramel.

This blend of oils, butters, and veggie waxes acts as a humectant and protectant for hair, increasing shine to a high glossy sheen and locking in moisture. It’s packed with essential fatty acids to nourish scalp, and actually sinks into your hair and skin for a long lasting, non-greasy feeling. It’s great for braids, imparts shine and moisture to loose hair, brushes nicely into the hairline for a glossy finish, and adds luster to locks!

Contains virgin coconut cream, mango oil, and hempseed oil in a base of nourishing castor oil. Lightly fragranced with a subtly sweet fragrance that is appropriate for both men and women.

I bought this on CurlMart.com after reading the good reviews on it. I decided to use it after my daily co-washes to help stretch my hair. It works like a charm! I don’t even have to reapply everyday. It really adds weight to your hair and keeps it weighed down until you shampoo it out. I do suggest you not glob it on since it leaves a bit of a residue until it dries completely. The only problem I had with the pomade was the smell. It really is overwhelming after a few uses.
Ingredients: Castor oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, organic virgin coconut oil,mango seed oil, unrefined hempseed oil, cocoa butter, broccoli seed oil, fragrance, & love

Oh, Honey!

Honey and cinnamon have served as home remedies for centuries due to their antimicrobial properties. Honey itself produces an enzyme that is able to produce hydrogen peroxide. Cinnamon has both antioxidants and essential oils that have antimicrobial properties:

1. Make a paste by mixing olive oil, 1 tablespoon of Manuka honey and 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Apply and massage on the scalp and leave it for 15-20 minutes. Wash off and repeat it for 3-4 times a week.

2. Mix one tablespoon honey with one small glass of brandy or vodka and onion juice; rub mixture into the scalp every night, cover with a cap and shampoo in the morning.

3. Combine 1/4 cup of onion juice with one tablespoon of raw honey, and then massage the scalp with the mixture every night.

4. Massage into the scalp and hair honey with egg yolk. Leave for a 1/2 hour, then wash. This is a common natural cure for dull and dry hair.

While honey is great for the hair, it is also beneficial for the skin. Because it is both a humectant (draws moisture) and an anti-inflammatory agent, honey can help nourish the face (this means pimple-free skin!):

Pumpkin Honey Mask

  • 4 tablespoons of peeled pumpkin
  • 4 teaspoons of corn flour
  • 2 teaspoons of aloe vera gel
  • 2 teaspoons of mashed pineapple
  • 1 teaspoon of green tea
  • ½ teaspoon of sunflower oil

Prepare green tea and let it rest a bit. While that is cooling down, combine pineapple, honey, pumpkin, and aloe gel. Add to that sunflower oil and then green tea. Mix well.

Apply the mix on the face and neck and leave on for 15-20 minutes. Rinse off with warm water and pad dry. This amount is enough for 4 applications. Keep it in a glass jar, tightly closed and refrigerated. It is not to be used after 2 weeks.

Hawaii Face Mask

  • ½ of ripe papaya
  • ½ cup of fresh pineapple
  • 2 teaspoons of honey
  • 2 teaspoons of green tea.

Put green tea in boiling water and let it rest a bit. Peel the papaya and remove the seeds. Mix papaya and peeled pineapple in a blender or food processor until the mass is consistent. Pour everything in a bowl and add honey and green tea.

Apply the mask on clean face (you could use a facial steam to remove impurities). Apply the mask on the face and leave it on for 15 minutes. Rinse the face with warm water and pat dry.

This mask can be used within a week, simply keep it in a glass jar, tightly closed and refrigerated.

Oily Skin Honey Parsley Mask

  • 4 teaspoon of honey
  • ¼ of a cup of chopped parsley.

Combine the two and apply on the face. This recipe yields one application.

Anti aging Honey Mask

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of glycerin or vegetable oil.

Combine all the ingredients and apply on the face. It should stay on the face for at least 30 minutes, the longer the better. Rinse off with warm water.

Relaxing Honey Mask

  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 2 tablespoons of sour cream
  • Oatmeal or wheat

Combine honey and sour cream. Add oatmeal or wheat until the mass thickens. Apply it on the face and neck and leave on for 15 minutes. Rinse off with warm water.

Honey hair loss remedies:

http://www.benefits-of-honey.com/hair-loss-remedy.html

http://www.benefits-of-honey.com/honey-and-cinnamon.html

Honey for the skin:

http://www.skin-care-recipes-and-remedies.com/benefits-of-honey.html