SUN Spotlight On: Salon Distinction
Owner: Lynn Bryant
Location: 1047 bell Ave., 1st Flr., Rear, Yeadon PA 19050
Appts: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 9:30 AM – 6:00 PM; Saturday, 8:00 AM-2:00 PM
Specialties: Healthy hair care; full array of services
By Leah Fletcher
What woman doesn’t want beautiful, healthy hair? The short answer is probably “Very few”. However, for African American women, more work may be required to maintain it. Fortunately, there is presently more information available on how to take care of black hair. And, there is an array of products especially formulated to care for African American hair.
“We often wonder why our hair doesn’t seem to flourish. The ends may be dry or it’s thinning despite our best efforts,” explained Lynn Bryant, owner and stylist at Salon Distinction, in Yeadon, a suburb of Philadelphia. “Although it seems we are doing everything we can to take good care of our hair, that’s not always the case.”
In some instances, women can be victims of what Bryant calls human error. “An attempt by do-it-yourselfers at perming or dying their own hair may have disastrous results,” said Bryant, an 18-year industry veteran. However, there are a few simple rules to follow, she believes, that won’t negatively impair black hair health for these do-it-yourselfers. Following are her suggestions.
• Keeping hair clean
It is important to keep the hair and scalp clean. Most black hair is dry and brittle. Use a moisturizing shampoo formulated for dry hair. When shampooing hair, try to use lukewarm water. Hot water has a tendency to dry the hair even more. If you use lots of hair styling products—like gels, mousse or hairspray—use a clarifying shampoo once a month.
• Use Conditioners regularly
After each shampoo, use a conditioner to soften the hair and reduce tangles. Choose a conditioner that is made for dry hair. Do a weekly deep conditioning. A hot oil treatment is still popular. Choose conditioner made of protein. The hair is made of keratin, a form of protein.
• Use as little heat as possible on your hair
While blow-drying the hair is faster than towel drying, using one can damage the hair because of the hot air. Hot rollers, curling wands, hot combs, flat irons, and other hair appliances also add heat to the hair and increase dryness. If you must use these appliances, don’t use them daily and apply a product that protects the hair from heat.
• Trim the ends off your hair
• Dry, brittle hair has a lot of breakage and split ends.
As the split ends move up the hair shaft, they cause more damage to the hair. Trimming the ends of your hair every four to eight weeks is important. You can trim your hair yourself or go to a salon. By removing split ends, you can cut down on breakage. This allows the hair to grow stronger.
• Moisturize your hair regularly
Adding a little bit of oil to the hair will keep it soft and shiny. It will also reduce breakage. Message the oil all over your hair. Be sure to add oil to the ends of your hair to reduce breakage.
• Massage your scalp
Massaging your scalp increases the circulation and blood flow that brings nutrient rich blood to the hair follicles. Massage also increases the production of natural scalp oils that can lubricate the hair. The increased circulation also promotes hair growth.
• Sleep with a head covering at night
Cotton pillowcases are very absorbent and can absorb the oils from your hair. To protect your hair sleep with a satin or silk slumber cap. A silk scarf tied around your head also helps. The soft fabric gives your hair a layer of protection from the absorbent linen.
• Wear wigs or braids to give hair a rest
Wigs and braids are good alternatives for giving your hair a rest. Bryant advises women selecting lace-front wigs to beware of improper product applications, which may damage the hairline. And tight ponytails, tight braids, and buns pulling your hair back can cause breakage and excess hair to break and/or fall out.