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Newbies: ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW

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    Posted: December 28 2007 at 4:00pm
Before I became an active member of BHM and other various hair boards, This hair board was where I came to for info. This was 2 years ago. Now the board is less active and newbies don't get the answers they're looking for sometimes. I've decided to make this thread to give as much information as I can to fix this dilemma. If you have anything to add, just let me know and I'll add it. Smile
 
The Basics
 
Protective Styles
Protective styles are hairstyles that keep your hair off your clothes. Clothes tend to be harsh on your hair, especially the ends. Protective styling is great for retaining length. Great styles are: Flexi-rods, Rollersets, Braids, Ponytails, Phony Ponies, Sew-ins, etc.
 
Stretching
Going a while without getting a relaxer. Saves money and hair.
 
Line of Demarcation
The point where the natural hair and relaxed hair meet.
 
Shrinkage
When your hair appears to be shorter because of the tight curls of your natural hair.
 
Breakage
Broken pieces of hair with no white bulb. Can be caused by too much moisture or protein. It can also be caused by poor hair care. Ouch

Shedding
Strands of hair with white bulbs on the root. Hair goes through a natural shedding phase, so don't worry if you're taking care of your hair and it suddenly starts shedding a bit. If you ARE worried, try using Garlic. It's been known to stop shedding.
 
The Baggy Method
This method is simple. You moisturize your hair, seal with an oil of your choice (I love Coconut Oil), and put on a plastic cap. You can leave on for half an hour or overnight. Your choice.
 
Texlaxed/Relaxurized
Not letting the relaxer take completely to the point of being bone straight Dead.  Basically underprocessed on purpose. Great method for those who flat iron bone straight hair anyway. I've done it before and I love it. Gives your hair some thickness.
 
Transitioning
Going from permed/relaxed to natural.
 
CO-Washing
A.K.A Conditioner Only Washing. Instead of using a shampoo, which can be harsh on your precious strands, you can use a conditioner. This way, you can wash everyday if you choose.
 
Pre-Pooing
A.K.A Pre-Shampooing. This is a method used to give your hair some good treatment before washing. You can pre-poo with a protein conditioner if your hair hates deep conditioning with protein, or you can pre-poo with garlic and olive oil if you're experiencing breakage/shedding.
 
The Dominican Blowout
A Rollerset followed by blowing out the roots with a hot (Shocked I mean HOT) blowdryer and a round brush. I love getting blowouts when I'm stretching because it gets my straight enough for me to keep stretching.
 
Scalp Massages
Massages to the scalp that get blood flowing to help growth.
 
Bumping
Replying to a thread to move it to the top of the page.
 
The Growth Aids
 
Miconazole Nitrate
Miconazole Nitrate is an ingredient found in antifungal and yeast infection creams. This ingredient has been shown to help promote hair growth so many women opt to use it as a growth aid. A popular mixture is a tube of MN and a 1/4 jar of Sulfur 8 grease. You can find MN in Monistat and Neosporin AF. Or you can use the generic stuff. Family Dollar has a good MN.
 
MTG (Mane-Tail-Groom)
It's a growth aid used for horses but also for many women. It contains Sulfur, which is a great for growth. The makers of MTG (http://www.shapleys.com) have made a Human version called Sulu MAX GRO (http://www.suluhair.com).
 
Boundless Tresses
Another popular growth aid. It's similar to MTG with the Sulfur, but it doesn't contain Mineral Oil. (http://www.growthspecifics.com)
 
Surge Hair Revitalizer Plus 14
Yet another popular growth aid. It contains Biotin and Keratin proteins.
 
The Answers

Q: Does washing your hair really help growth?
A: When your hair's clean, there's nothing stopping it from growing.
 
Q: What's APL, SL, NL, MBL, EL, and WL?
A: These are terms for lengths where the hair reaches. ArmPit Length, Shoulder Length, Neck Length, MidBack Length, Ear Length, and Waist Length.
 
Q: What does hair need more... Moisture or Protein?
A: Hair needs more moisture than protein.
 
Q: Should you take vitamins?
A: Yes! I'm anemic so I take an Iron supplement. So far, it's helping my hair. I had loss a lot a couple years ago when the anemia was at it's worst. You can take anything from Biotin, MSM, Horsetail, Prenatal Vits, etc.
 
Q: Does rinsing with cold water help hair?
A: Cold water seals the cuticle which keeps moisture in. This helps your hair stay soft and keeps bacteria and debris out of your hair.
 
Q: Should I drink water EVERY day?
A: YES! It's not only good for your hair, but also for your overall health.

Q: Why do my temples seem revert after a relaxer?
A: The temples/edges are a different texture than the rest of your hair. Plus it's exposed to water from daily facial washing. Very drying.

Q: Which is better Lye or No-Lye?
A: Lye. Lye allows the hair to hold in moisture better. No-Lye is very drying. Although some opt for it cause it less harsh on the scalp, it makes your hair "poofy" and prone to damage.
 
The Techniques
 
Deep Conditioning On Dry Hair
A very popular way of DC'ing among BHM and LHCF members is this one. Start by applying the conditioner on your roots, shaft, and ends. Put a plastic cap on and let your hair sit under a hooded dryer for 15, 30, or 45 minutes. Rinse and apply a leave-in. The reason why, in my opinion, this works is because the hair's dry and is dampened by the conditioner so it penetrates well. (SIDENOTE- This technique is best for those who can't get protein to work with their hair.)
 
Carmelization Treatment
A great way to stretch a relaxer. It's a mixture of honey, olive oil, molasses, bananas, cornstarch, water, vinegar, and wheat germ oil. You apply it like you would a relaxer, let it sit for 30 minutes with a plastic cap on, rinse, shampoo with a sulfate-free shampoo, condition, and rollerset and/or blowdry your hair and roots. Go to: (http://forum.blackhairmedia.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=66005&PN=1) for more info.
 
Dusting
A VERY light trim. Cutting only the damaged strands. About 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch. Good idea if you don't want your scissor happy stylist to cut off your progress. A stylist cut 2 inches off my hair when I asked her for a light trim. *sighs*

The Ingredients
 
Moisturizers
Whose role is to hold moisture in the hair. Usually these contain high proportions of humectants.

Reconstructors
Usually containing hydrolyzed protein. Their role is to penetrate the hair and strengthen its structure through polymer crosslinking.

Acidifiers
Acidity regulators which maintain the conditioner's pH at about 2.5–3.5. In contact with acidic environment, the hair's somewhat scaly surface tightens up, as the hydrogen bonds between the keratin molecules are strengthened.

Detanglers
Which modify the hair surface by pH as acidifiers, and/or by coating it with polymers, as glossers.

Thermal protectors
Usually heat-absorbing polymers, shielding the hair against excessive heat, caused by, e.g., blow-drying or curling irons or hot rollers.

Glossers
Light-reflecting chemicals which bind to the hair surface. Usually polymers, usually silicones, e.g., dimethicone or cyclomethicone.

Oils (EFAs - essential fatty acids)
Which can help dry/porous hair become more soft and pliable. The scalp produces a natural oil called sebum. EFAs are the closest thing to natural sebum (sebum contains EFAs).

Lubricants
Such as fatty alcohols, panthenol, dimethicone, etc.
 
The Essential Oils
 
Tea Tree (Melaleuca)
A potent antiseptic and known antifungal agent. Stimulates blood flow.
 
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
Stimulates blood circulation.
 
Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata)
Normalizes sebum secretion for skin problems.
 
Peppermint (Mentha × piperita)
High in menthol, this is used to stimulate the scalp. It is high manganese, vitamin C and vitamin A content; as well as trace amounts of various other nutrients such as fibre, iron, calcium, folate, potassium, tryptophan, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, riboflavin, and copper.
 
The Carrier Oils

Castor Oil
A vegetable oil used for thickening. Sometimes added to the drug Miconazole...... Surprise, surprise. LOL

Sweet Almond Oil (Oleum Amygdalae)
An effective emollient that mimics baby sebum.
 
Coconut Oil (Cocos nucifera)
The mother of all oils to me. It controls dandruff, dry skin, and even helps form a chemical barrier on the skin.
 
The Anatomy
 
Growth Rate
The number of hair that grows on the scalp, which grows at about ½ inch (13 mm) a month, averages at about 100,000-150,000. The hair shaft is composed of a protein called keratin, the cuticle, the medulla, and the cortex.

The Cuticle
The cuticle is the thinnest layer. It is transparent and consists of overlapping scale-like cells. It protects the cortex from chemicals.

The Medulla
The medulla is the core of the hair shaft and contains soft keratinised cells, which is key in helping to give hair its elasticity.

The Cortex
The cortex is the middle layer. It contains 75% to 80% of the hair’s protein structure. It is also where moisture and melanin (natural pigment) are held.

Hair Formation
Hair is formed by cell division at the base of the follicle, and is a part of a cycle of growing, resting, and shedding. The growing cycle can be as short as 2 years and as long as 10!
 
The Phases
 
Grow, Rest, Shed
The anagen is the growth phase; the catagen is the intermediate phase; and the telogen is the resting or shedding phase.

Hair growth cycle times
The anagen phase lasts about 3 years (1000 days according to P&G) but can last up to 10 years for some. The catagen phase can last 10 to 21 days. And the telogen phase lasts up to 3 months.
 
The Hair Types
 
2a, 2b, 2c
Loose curls.

3a, 3b, 3c
Thicker, coily curls. Alicia Keys and Tracee Ellis Ross fall into this category.

4a, 4b
Kinky, coliy hair. 4b is the thickest. Erykah Badu and Lauryn Hill fall into this category.
 
The Charts

 
The Vitamins
 
Biotin (Vitamin H)
Biotin is helpful in cell growth, the production of fatty acids, metabolism of fats, and amino acids. It is used as a natural product to counteract the problem of hair loss in both adults and children. Biotin is also used to help with seborrheic dermatitis. It has been known to cause breakouts in some.
 
Vitamin A
Helps aid in the growth of skin cells. Also helps maintain healthy skin, hair, and mucous membranes.
 
Vitamin B12
Has been known to prolong the growing phase.
 
The Colors
 
Semi-Permanent
Lasts through 8-12 shampoos. I've done a few.

Demi-Permanent
Lasts through 28 shampoos.
 
Permanent
Pretty self-explanatory. Tongue Lasts until you grow it out or recolor. A good product for permanent dying, in my opinion, is Bigen (http://www.bigenxp.com/bigen/index.php). You can find it at your local BSS.

Cellophane
A color rinse that acts as a conditioner and adds shine. Used primarily in Dominican salons.
 
Henna
A powder used in body art that is also used for hair coloring.
 
The Hair Books

The Black Woman's Guide To Beautiful Hair: A Positive Approach To Managing Any Hair Type And Style
by Lisa Akbari
Awesome book for those who are just starting out.
 
Healthy Hair Care Tips For Today's Black Woman
by Cheryl T. Moss
Get a few tips you'll never forget. Good read.
 
Beautiful Black Hair: Real Solutions To Real Problems
by Shamboosie
A little pushy with the Nexxus and Dudley products, but still a good book. Learn the do's and dont's of applying a relaxer.
 
Ultra Black Hair Growth II: Another 6 Inches
by Cathy Howse
The original black hair care book. Tons of information to help you grow your hair.
 
The Acronyms

AO-
Aubrey Organics

ACV- Apple Cider Vinegar

BC- Big Chop

BHM- Black Hair Media

BSS- Beauty Supply Store

BTW- By The Way

CON- Creme of Nature

EFA- Essential fatty acids

EVOO- Extra Virgin Olive Oil

HHG- Happy Hair Growing

HTH- Hope This Helps

IMO- In My Opinion

ITA- I Too Agree

LHCF- Long Hair Care Forum

LF- Lacefront

NG- New Growth
 
OP- Original Poster

PJ- Product Junkie
 
PM- Private Message

TIA- Thanks In Advance
 
TWA- Teeny Weeny Afro

WGO- Wild Growth Oil
 
The Neccesities
 
Moisturizing shampoo
For this I'd go with a sulfate-free shampoo. Sulfates are found in regular shampoos (i.e Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate Dead). You can use Creme of Nature which has no sulfates or many other shampoos just like it.

Moisturizing/protein conditioner
Your regular conditioner after a shampoo wash. See The Products for suggestions.

Moisturizing/protein treatment
Aussie 3 minute Miracle Deep Treatment is a moisture treatment. Nexxus KerapHix is a protein treatment. You can use whichever one depending on what your hair needs.

Leave-in conditioner/treatment
A conditioner or moisturizer used last. I always use a leave-in since I airdry.

Moisturizer (water based)
Why water based? Other non-water based moisturizers are heavy. Water based moisturizers are light which is great for your hair.

Natural/Essential oils
Natural oils like Coconut, Olive, Sweet Almond, and Jojoba. Essential oils like Rosemary, Peppermint, and Tea Tree.

Satin scarf/bonnet
For nightly hair tying.

Seamless comb
Regular combs have seams that can rip out strands of your hair. Seamless combs are seamless, so no breakage.

Plastic cap/bags or sandwich bags
For deep conditioning. You can deep condition for 10 to 15 minutes under a dryer or without heat for an hour.

Vitamins
You can take a multivitamin, Biotin, Iron, Horsetail, MSM, Vitamin B12 Complex, Hair/Skin/And Nail Vitamins, Prenatal Vitamins, etc.

Empty spray bottle
It's for your own hair concoctions. Mix together glycerin and water, MN and Sulfur 8 Grease with a little bit of Coconut Oil, etc. It's up to you.

WATER, WATER, WATER!
64 ounces a day does your hair good.
 
The Products

Great Moisturizing Shampoos
Creme of Nature Ultra Moisturizing Shampoo (Green and Yellow)
Neutrogena Triple Moisture Cream Lather Shampoo
Nexxus Therappe Shampoo
ORS Creamy Aloe Shampoo
 
Great Conditioners
ORS Replenishing Pak/Conditioner (Moisture & light protein)
Aussie 3 minute Miracle Deep Moisture Treatment (Moisture)
Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner (Moisture)
Suave Humectant (Moisture)
Nexxus Hydra Sleek (Moisture)
KeraCare Humecto (Moisture)

Leave-In Treatments
Neutrogena Triple Moisture Silk Touch Leave-in Cream
S-Curl Instant "No Drip" Activator Moisturizer
L'Oreal Nature's Therapy Unfrizz Smoothing Treatment
Kids Organics Shea Butter Detangling Hair Lotion (Star Amazing!)
 
Great Daily Moisturizers
Kids Organics Shea Butter Detangling Hair Lotion
S-Curl Instant "No Drip" Activator Moisturizer
3/4 Glycerin/Glycerine & 1/4 Water/Rosewater
Any Braid Spray...
 
The Photo/Journal Links
Most popular photo album storage website. Almost every one on BHM, LHCF, and here has a fotki. You can have a journal, a guestbook, and links. I'm going to make one someday.

Picoodle (http://www.picoodle.com)
Can't upload pictures on forums? Here's the place to go.
 
Another awesome photo storage website.
 
Blogger (http://www.blogger.com)
Home to the hair bloggers. I have a hair blog on blogger (http://coarsehair.blogspot.com).

Wordpress (http://www.wordpress.com)
Another popular blog host. I had an account on there once and it was pretty good. A lot more pages can be added on the main blog.
 
Wheew! I'm tired. I'll be posting more later. Sleepy


Edited by bellecheveux - December 29 2007 at 7:14pm
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MsMiamiLady View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MsMiamiLady Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 28 2007 at 4:06pm
bump! this should be a sticky.
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bellecheveux View Drop Down
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Bump bump bump
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I agree this should be a sticky 
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Have you heard of Hair Formula 37? If so, is it good?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bellecheveux Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 01 2008 at 2:40am
Originally posted by sweetlady sweetlady wrote:

Have you heard of Hair Formula 37? If so, is it good?
 
I've heard about it, but never seen any results from it. If you're trying it, please let me know how it is! Embarrassed
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JMAN21 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 02 2008 at 6:19pm
great info. i wish people would give this much info. over on the 360 waves section
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BeautyWitch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 03 2008 at 11:55am
Great post Belle Thumbs%20Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote butterfly73 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 06 2008 at 4:26pm
Thank you SOOO Much!  As long as I have been out here, no one broke things down enough to help me understand what I was reading!!!  GOD Bless you and keep educating your sisters, we all have the same ambition, to continue growing healthy HAIR!!!!
Shining Always...Humbly awaiting your reply

Butterfly73
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You guys are welcome!
 
 
Thanks JMAN21, Beautywitch, and butterfly73!
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great information and your hair is beautiful.  thanks for taking the time to do that. 
lishalisha
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What a great post!
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Ditto what everyone else has said.. This is an EXCELLENT post!!!
Check out the 5th So Cal offline luncheon?? For more info: divahairtalk.overthehillweb.com/lunch.html

Links to my fav vendors & hair albums + Weave 101 information: divahairtalk.overthehillweb.com
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Clap Can't read this helpful info enough
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I remember when this site was jumping!!!
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Thanks for this wonderful, informative post.
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You did tha damn thang with this post!!!  This will answer alot of questions for MANY!!! ClapClap

Edited by MsMahoganyRed - March 06 2008 at 9:52am
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GREAT INFORMATION.. Thumbs%20Up
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Thanks Belle, I have actually started to treat my real hair instead of just throwing on my wig. This information will be very helpful.  Thanks
Love me or hate me. You're still thinking of me!
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This information is so informative, thanks for breaking it down in this manner.  Thanks!!
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