Whether its lovely locks or flowing Afro: hair care regimen key to wearing natural hairstyles
SUN Spotlight On: Zemetrics Hair Studio
Owner: Chondra Cain
100 S. 55th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19139
Appts: Monday through Tuesday, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM; Wednesday through Friday, 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM; Saturday, 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Specialties: Full service salon offering an array of hair and barbering services, including hair cutting, dying, and styling. Comprehensive natural hair services are available.
Natural Hair Stylist: Aronda Denise
Contact: 267-707-7582; www.ArondaStewart.com; Facebook:hairdesignbyaronda
By Leah Fletcher
For African American women and men who prefer wearing their hair natural, knowing how to care for it is key. Whether you wear an Afro, locks, twists, braids or any other natural style, by following a few easy care tips, your natural hair will be healthy and beautiful.
A healthy hair regimen, comprised of the appropriate products, tools and TLC, is a fundamental contributor to healthy hair care, said Aronda Denise, a natural hair stylist affiliated with Zymetrics Hair Studio, located in Philadelphia's University City. By committing to a serious hair care routine; you will get results by including the following rules in your standard program.
Using right products essential
According to Aronda, "Natural African American hair tends to be dry, so the products you use should be moisturizing." This includes shampoos and conditioners. Some industry experts advise that you choose products that are formulated for dry or damaged hair as these usually contain emollients and moisturizers that natural hair really needs.
"The closer the products are to being natural, the better for your hair," noted Aronda. It seems natural oils are preferable to heavy greases that contain petroleum or mineral oil. "Heavy artificial hair products coat your hair instead of actually moisturizing it" explained Aronda. "They also attract dirt, clog pores and weigh your hair down," she added.
You should also consider using light, natural oils on your hair, concentrate on the ends, which are the oldest part of your hair and are more prone to dryness.
Select gentle hair tools
When choosing combs, brushes and accessories for your hair, select gentle tools such as wide-tooth combs, natural boar bristle bushes and ponytail holders that don't contain metal. Also satin or silk caps are better for sleeping in at night than cotton. Natural hair will glide against smooth material like silk or satin, but can "catch" on cotton, making it prone to breakage.
Accessories with metal parts can also catch on the hair and pull it out. Instead try scrunchies that are elastic or covered elastics, but avoid rubber bands. Headbands are available in a wide range of styles and designs. When possible, wear elastic headbands made of smooth material instead of the hard plastic variety that contain "teeth".
Proper care is important
"Natural hair may appear strong and coarse, but it is actually very fragile and should always be treated with TLC," explained Aronda. In addition to using moisturizing, natural products and proper tools for grooming, she believes you should treat your hair gently when combing, cleaning and styling. This may mean using your finders as a first step for detangling and beginning to comb from the bottom of your hair and working your way toward the scalp. This way, you work out knots and tangles from the bottom, leading to less hair breaking. "When you stop the cycle of breakage, you will see real hair growth, which is very possible, for natural hair that is well taken care of" said Aronda.
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