Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Kynxx~ Frequently Asked Questions

 I was invited to be a featured hair stylist during a natural hair symposium hosted by Nappiology, Inc.  I was one stylist in a panel of 8 natural hair stylist located throughout  the Dallas/Ft. Worth metropolitan area.   The purpose of the event was to make the public aware of where stylist can be found and what services we provide as many of them vary.  It also gave me the opportunity to meet other stylists in the area which is very beneficial for me.  I often get asked if I straighten hair or color hair and now I know stylist who do that I can safely refer those who inquire to without feeling I've compromised integrity because I know they'll be in good hands. If you were not able to attend and would like to in the future I encourage you to join Nappiology Inc. Meet-Up [CLICK HERE TO JOIN] for the upcoming events as the Mane Event Symposium will be traveling to various cities throughout the DFW metroplex this year.  By joining Nappiology meet-up you'll have access to all events related to natural hair care and styling in the DFW area.

During the symposium the panel of stylist were able to take questions from attendees.  Most of the questions being asked I get quite often. I decided to write this post to address the most F.A.Q. this way when other's who contact me by e-mail or on Facebook I can send them right here without needing to repeat myself.  Just remember, every person is different so my responses to the questions are in general.  I am not able to specifically without holding a face to face consultation with you.

1. Will I have to cut all of my hair off to transition from relaxed hair to natural hair?
No.  There is no need to cut off all of your hair during the transition process if you are not comfortable with wearing your hair short.  Some find after a few months into the transition process they do not like the two different textures and that is why most Big Chop (BC).  If you have long hair or you do not experience breakage during the transition phase then cutting half an inch off of the relaxed ends every two months will leave you with more styling options until the relaxed ends are completely gone.  I don't recommend letting the relaxed ends just break off. If you do end up with lots of breakage during the transition phase and you don't want to BC then I recommend either wearing box braids (aka individuals) or some type of protective hair style like sew in weaves (only if the hair is healthy and strong and edges are in tact), and styles like the ones I often style on my clients shown in the [Kynxx Gallery-CLICK HERE].  The key is to avoid breakage so regular deep conditioning treatments weekly or bi-weekly can help avoid breakage and choosing styles that are conducive to the goals you have.  If your edges are thin and weak or balding, wearing micro braids, weaves with glue applied directly on hair and/or scalp, and braids that are too tight are counter productive to growing them back. 

2. What are good protective styles besides braids to wear year round?
Two strand twists, Bantu Knots, Tuck and Pin hairstyles are great for those who don't want to wear their hair braided. Here are a few examples of protective styles that do not include braids:





3.How do you do a protective style with thin edges and is there a way to help them grow out and      when they do and are very short how do you protect them?
Wigs are great protective styles for those who have thin edges that are being nursed back to health.  If wigs are not an option, the most important thing to remember is the style you choose should not put any tension around the edges.  You protect the edges during the time you are nursing them back to health simply by leaving them alone.  Wearing braids that hang down and over the edges are best like box braids shown below...
 For box braids inquiries consultations/prices send email to or contact me on [FACEBOOK]
 and Senegalese twists.   Protective styles like the ones suggested in the answer to question #2 are really good options as well if you are okay with having the edges out and showing while still thin or missing.  During the time of repairing damage, loss, thinning etc. you must have patience and be willing to sacrifice looking your best, to maybe not the best, until you reach your desired goal.

4. What is good for dry hair?
A solid regimen that includes cleansing the scalp, conditioning with a good moisturizing conditioner alternated by reconstructing conditioners to keep the hair moist and soft yet strong thus assisting in it's ability to grow long.  Afro-textured hair is dry by nature however when excessive dryness is the issue then there are several contributing factors that will need to be addressed.  I wrote a blog post addressing some causes and remedies for treating excessively dry hair.  [CLICK HERE] to read post.

5.What is a good hair care regimen to follow?
 One created by you based on your own hair care needs.  In the beginning of your journey you may have to loosely follow someone else's hair care regimen, tweaking products and hair care times, and styling techniques to fit your own hair once you become familiar with it.  [CLICK HERE] to view my own hair care regimen to use as a guide for starting your own.

6. How long does it take to fully transition?
 Hair grows at a rate of half an inch per month.  Multiply that by one year and you get 6 inches of growth per year.  If you do not wish to big chop (BC) then you must think ahead and plan to cut the relaxed ends off from your hair at a point when your new growth is at the length you are comfortable with sporting.  When I transitioned in 1993 and the end of 1995 I didn't BC. I allowed my hair to grow until my new growth was at a length I was happy with.  None of my hair fell out and I sported a low bun as my styling choice everyday for about 16-17 months occasionally wearing braids in between.
NOTE: There are certain cases when hair is very tightly coiled and the hair has been relaxed to bone straight.  I find in many of those cases breakage is inevitable simply due to the textures of the new~growth and distinct contrast to with the relaxed ends at the line of demarcation (where the relaxed ends and new~growth meet.  In those cases I do not recommend allowing the ends to just break off.  Have a plan before you begin transitioning of what you can do style wise before you cut your hair and if you should have to any alternative styles you like that can be worn until you reach your desired hair length.

7. How do I know what hair type I have?
 Although I do not subscribe to hair typing systems, I do understand there are many of you who do and find it helpful.  Here is the guide to reference and use as comparison to see which category your hair fits in. 

NOTE: In this chart there is another typing number missing, 4C which is supposed to be the z type strand hair pattern and usually in terms of texture, the most coarse of all.  Remember most of us have more than one "type" and that is the reason I do not subscribe to hair typing systems. These systems are very subjective and vary depending on ones own belief of what they have instead of what is.  I'm all for taking a common sense approach to hair care and "typing" the hair has nothing to do with the ability to care for it.  It can be helpful for styling product choices but even with that someone my have hair that looks just like yours but your hair may respond differently from that person even using the same product.  Its best to take the time and get to know your own hair period.  We didn't need or use hair typing systems in the late 60's and 70's when natural was going strong. I personally see no need for it now.  [CLICK HERE] to read my blog post describing my hair "type".

8. What can I do to make my hair grow fast?
 I hear this question asked often and really the response has nothing to do with a hair product.  Its in the foods we consume.  Saturated fatty filled foods are directly linked to hair loss, thinning, and the inability to grow thick strong strands from the root.  Dietary changes are the #1 link to growing healthy hair and even if it doesn't necessarily grow faster than the normal rate of .5 inches per month, when the hair grows at its maximum health potential, it will seem like your hair IS growing at a faster rate due to the increased ability to retain all that is grown.  I have to remind myself of this often :)  I am an UrbanBushBabe fan and recently came across an article and vlog about predetermined hair lengths.  I think anyone asking this question should view this video and share it with everyone they know who asks the same.  Very informative and it takes you back to the basics of hair care without all the newness of the movement that I feel only tends to be information overload and confusing. [CLICK HERE] to view UrbanBushBabes video.

9. What is Henna?
The powdered leaves of a tropical shrub, used as a dye to color the hair and decorate the body. Henna or Hina is a flowering plant, the sole species in the genus Lawsonia in the family Lythraceae.

Henna (Lawsonia Inermis) benefits on hair:
  • stops hair loss
  • stimulates hair growth by blending with the natural proteins found in hair
  • slows down premature greying
  • prevents breakage
  • adds shine
  • cures dandruff and dry scalp
  • reverses effects of pollution on hair and dryness due to excessive blow drying
  • renders a magnificent reddish brown color to dark hair

10. What is the best oil to use on dry hair?
There are 3 Oils that are noted for adding moisture to the hair, extra virgin olive (evoo), avocado, and virgin coconut most commonly known for pentrating through the cuticle and adding moisture up to 50%. These are oils that may be applied to hair without needing to apply water to the air first.  I've read so many different moisture percentages each provides, each being different. Some articles I've read state coconut oil provides the highest moisture level to hair, evoo being the least and vice versa. Most stated avocado was in the middle of the two.  I suggest buying a small bottle of each separately and using them on your hair to make the best choice based on how your hair responds to them when applied on dry hair.

11. How do I stop my scalp from itching?
It depends on the causes.  Sometimes the scalp will itch solely from product build up that needs to be removed.  Clarify with bentonite clay (for more info about bentonite clay [CLICK HERE] or a clarifying shampoo like Trader Joe's Tingling Tea Tree Shampoo. By doing so you remove the dirt and oils that often cause the scalp to become itchy and clogged.  Another reason can be dandruff from oily scalp or flaky scalp as a result of excessive dryness.  I suggest the natural approach only to cure either problem. Dandruff shampoos and topically applied ointment usually have chemicals that are harmful to our bodies for those who want to stay away from using products with toxins in them.  One way to relieve itchy scalp is simply to massage it for a few minutes, using the finger pads, not tips or nails that can possibly be harmful for the scalp. Massaging with your oil of choice with a little peppermint essential oil or tea tree ES if dandruff is the cause for itching.  For a more intense and possible cure to itching scalp are regular apple cider vinegar (ACV) rinses (1 part ACV 2-3 parts purified water). ACV rinses in it self can beautify hair by closing the cuticles in the strands, which results in added shine, less frizz, and a scalp without itch!

12. What can I use to cure my dandruff?
One of the best ways to keep the scalp healthy is using Ayurveda powders.  Brahmi, Amla, Shikakai, Bhringraj, Neem, Henna, Cassia, to name a few. Each powder is beneficial for different reasons although most of them noted for keeping the scalps oil production balanced and healthy, tightening the roots which leads to less hair fall, and improve thickness to the hair by providing strength to weak strands. I often write about my own dedication to using Ayurveda in my hair care regimen.  Here a a few articles I'm sure you will find helpful:
For more information about the benefits of Ayurveda for hair [CLICK HERE}

13. Am I still considered natural if I dye my hair or thermally straighten my hair?
In my opinion, yes because no chemicals that permanently change the texture of the hair like a relaxer would have been applied to the hair.  I've heard and read some Naturalistas complain about looser strands after lifting their hair color more than say 2-3 shades but aside from that it's still not like putting a relaxer on the hair. Again this is my opinion and let me add I'd rather women straighten their natural hair and learn how to wrap it to keep it straight without using a flat iron everyday, then relax their hair.  Over time thermal straightening can also loosen ones curl pattern.  Nevertheless the hair is still not relaxed. No chemicals have entered into the blood stream that can cause permanent hair loss. I can't count how many times I got burned with a pressing comb on my scalp growing up and I still had a head full of long silky hair.  If you want to keep your hair relaxer free, or natural, just keep the no-lye or lye away from it and you're good.

14. My significant other hates my natural hair or doesn't support my desire to transition, what should I do?
This can be a very difficult issue to deal with.  You want one thing, your love desires another. Some feel like it's just looks, they'll get over the change and just do what they want and don't bother acknowledging how or what their significant other feels.  There are others who desire and need the support from their mate and when it doesn't happen, it causes them to feel hurt, sad, and other negative emotions in relation to their hair choices.  For those in that situation I can only tell you to pray on it and use every bit of knowledge that lead you to make the choice to transition, to educate him/her on why it is so important to you.  Most of the time  those who are not supportive simply because they don't know anything about it nor do they understand what the journey means to you.  Calmly communicate while educating on the health benefits and I'm sure things will work out in your favor.

15.  I want to transition my child's hair, where do I start?
Start with talking to your child and finding out what they want first.  I know as parents the final decision is ours. They have to live with whatever choices we make for them in their best interest. However, why not take the time to talk to your child and see how she feels about her hair.  Make it more than just about how she will wear it but dig deeper by finding out how she views her hair. Is it pretty to her, does she feel straight hair is better, does she have the good vs. bad hair syndrome so many of us were and still are plagued with and at times inadvertently pass on to our offspring.  In order for the transitioning process to be smooth is to be honest about your feelings and views about your hair.  So if you despise the look (and this goes for ADULTS as well) of Afro textured hair, transitioning is not for you unless your goal is to wear lots of sew in weaves or wigs or you plan to wear your hair straight.  Aside from that transitioning needs to come from a place of unconditional love of self and acceptance.  Shrinkage, kinks, curls, dryness, oiliness, multiple textures, are all a part of this journey and what make it so full filling.  Learning the many things our unique coils can do and the multitude of beautiful ways it can be styled are all a part of it.  In my opinion I don't think it should be forced especially on children who are pre-teen and teenage years.  They have so many other things to deal with and unless you raised that child to value natural beauty from the start, be prepared for a little resistance just as you would be if making the choice to transition without knowing anything about it. The wisest decisions come after educating yourself  about the process and the necessity to transition your mind in  most cases prior to the physical transition.

I have a blog post that goes into detail on how to build and regimen and start a healthy hair care journey for your child, although all information in the post may be followed for adults too. [CLICK HERE] to read blog post.

16. #1 question asked no matter what the hair issue may be: What product do I use?
I'm not a nutrition expert nor dietician, I just want those of you struggling with hair issues especially if related to drug use (legal drugs are still drugs) to step away from product dependency for a resolution to hair problems and think internal. I drink 24 oz. green juice daily for the past 2 weeks and already notice an improvement in my mood, ability to concentrate, less hair shed, glowing skin, digestion and bowel movement frequency, and greater endurance during workouts. I do not have any known medical issues but if I did and took drugs as prescribed by my physician, I would definitely look into dietary changes and juicing for health and to free myself from expensive drug dependency. I cannot stress the importance of what we put into our bodies being included into our hair care regimens and to view them as products as well. When it comes to eating healthy I ENCOURAGE product junkism to the fullest!! 

Nutri~Bullet, Nutriblast  Recipe: kale,  grannysmith apples,carrots, sunflower seeds, and purified water.
I purchased my machine at Bed, Bath, and Beyond for $99.99. When you register for e-mail updates you'll be sent a 20% welcome coupon that can be applied towards your purchase. For more information about the NutriBullet visit [HERE].

If you have a question that has not been addressed in this post feel free to leave it in the comments and I will update this same post with my response.  Thank you for reading, Be Blessed...


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