LaToya Jones

Healthy Hair Care Tips For Relaxed & Natural Hair From A Professional Hairstylist. Hair blogger, lifestyle blogger, and influencer teaching healthy hair through great products, lifestyle, and healthy living.


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Have you ever wondered why your hair seems to grow really good at a certain time of the year, like in the summer or fall?  Does it seem to shed just as much as it grows in other seasons? Does it also seem to grow to a certain length then just stop?  Or maybe one side grows faster than the other? Well if you answered yes to any (or all) of these questions, then I have the explanations for you! The good news is that all of the situations mentioned are common. Everyone's hair goes through growth cycles or phases and today we'll be exploring all of them. Understanding they cycles and phases that hair goes through will help you to understand why your hair grows (or doesn't grow) the way it does. There are three growth phases of hair, which are the anagen, catagen, and telogen phase.  These cycles explain everything about the way our hair grows. Let's get started...

Your hair grows in cycles, but it can still have length

The anagaen phase- This phase is by far our favorite one!  It is the phase where the hair grows.  During this phase hair grows approximately one centimeter every 28 days. The anagen phase can stay active for as long as 2-6 years. The reason why some people's hair grows to a certain length and then stops is because their anagen phase may not last very long. On the other hand, when you see women who have very long hair, it is because their anagen phase stays active much longer. So the next time your hair grows to a certain length and then stops, don't necessarily question if you are doing something wrong to your hair. There is nothing you can do or not do to determine how long your growth cycle will last.  When you notice that your hair is not growing any longer, my recommendation would be to continue to take great care of your hair until your anagen phase becomes active again. If you simply continue to cut it hoping that will make it grow faster, you are only hindering it from growing past that length that you are stuck at.

Maximizing your length is dependent upon your hair care routine

The catagen phase- This phase is also called the transition phase. During this phase, the hair is transitioning between the anagen phase and the last phase which is called telogen. At this phase, the hair stops growing and begins to detach itself from the scalp.

A consistent hair schedule with great hair products is key!

The telogen phase- This is the stage in hair growth where the hair rests. We all dread this part but it is part of the process. During this phase, the hair remains dormant anywhere from 1-4 months. While the hair is in the telogen phase, it is becoming prepared to go back into the anagen phase. Once the anagen phase occurs again, the new hair begins to push the hairs out that have been resting and the growth process starts all over again. When this happens, shedding occurs.

Your hair is constantly growing!
Remember, every hair on the head does not experience each phase at the same time. Fortunately, most of the time the hair is in the anagen, or growing, phase 85% of the time. This means that most of your hair is growing most of the time. When you see your hair shedding, that signals that the anagen phase is beginning again for those hair follicles. This is why your hair sheds daily! Normal hair shedding is about 120-200 hairs per day. That may sound like a lot but the average person has approximately one hundred THOUSAND hairs on their head. So, when you look at it from that perspective, two hundred hairs out of one hundred thousand doesn't seem so bad.

Enjoy your hair no matter the length it is!

The best thing you can do for your hair is to keep it healthy without sacrificing length. In other words, continue to get your regular trims instead of risking having split ends just so your hair can look long.  There is nothing cute about long pretty hair with ends that look like someone has been chewing on them. Your hair length is determined by your active (anagen) growth phase. Even if you have a short growth (anagen) phase, you can still have a pretty good length of hair. You can maximize retaining all of the length that you get from this phase by giving your hair all of the tlc that it needs. Minimal heat, wrap it up nightly (get a great satin scarf here), get trims regularly, shampoo as often as needed with great products (like these),  and deep condition when necessary (preferably with this or this). When you start doing these things and keep doing them consistently, you'll see more growth. You can also use a great growth oil (like this one) to help your hair grow a little faster than it normally would.

Check out the video here and see how much my hair has grown since I first cut it:



Many people have asked me how I manage to get my relaxed hair to be so healthy. They key to having healthy relaxed hair is relaxer stretching. The definition of relaxer stretching is basically going longer than the standard of six to eight weeks when it comes to getting a touch up. So, why is it important to relaxer stretch? Because when getting a relaxer touch up about an average of two inches of hair gets processed. That means that in order for you to avoid overlapping and over-processing, you should grow two inches of hair before getting another relaxer touch up. It takes an average of four months (sixteen weeks) to grow two inches of hair. This is why I recommend going at least sixteen weeks before getting a touch up or until you have two inches of hair. 



When you start relaxer stretching you will see a drastic change in the health of your relaxed hair. It will look thicker and it will be much stronger. Your styles will even look better. I want to give you some tips for relaxer stretching that will make it easier for you to stretch. If you are new to relaxer stretching, it could be tough at first. But once you get the hang of it, it will get much easier for you to manage your hair even when you have lots of new growth. 

  1. Stop saying that you can't!- Whether you know it or not, you have the power of life and death in your tongue according to the bible. When you constantly say you can't do something, guess what? You won't! First start telling yourself that you can and will make an effort to getting healthier hair by stretching your relaxers way past six weeks. 
  2. Start slowly- If you are in the habit of getting your relaxers at a certain amount of time it isn't easy to break that habit, but it can be done. Stop thinking about the entirety of sixteen weeks and simply take it week to week.
  3. Soften your new growth- It will be much easier to manage your new growth when it it softened. You can soften it with conditioners (like this one and this one) and leave in conditioner like this.
  4. Do protective styles- Don't be afraid of protective styles to help get you to the two-inch mark. They are lifesavers when you feel like you can't handle your new growth.
  5. Incorporate reconstructive treatments- If you feel like your hair breaks when you stretch it out, then your hair needs extra strength. Protein gives your hair strength so reconstructive treatments like this one will make your hair much stronger and help you to stretch much longer without losing lots of hair.


Remember, you can do anything you put your mind to! Try to focus on the fact that your overall goal is healthier hair. And make sure you keep my posted on your progress! If you are already stretching, how long do you go in between you relaxers?




Some women really struggle with having healthy relaxed hair. Even though relaxed hair is easier to manage, it still requires lots of maintenance in order to keep it healthy. Many women decide to go natural because they feel like the relaxer is damaging their hair. Well, the relaxer is a chemical, so when not handled properly, there is a greater chance that your hair will end up with damage. Not properly caring for your relaxed hair will lead to damage, and will also lead you to asking "Why is my relaxed hair damaged?" This post is going to help you get that question answered! Here is my list of the top ten reasons why your relaxed hair is damaged.



  1. Getting touch ups to soon- Since relaxers are permanent, there is no reason to relax hair that has already been relaxed. That is why when getting touch ups, you only have to relax the new growth, or the hair that does not have relaxer on it. Getting relaxer touch ups too soon leads to overlapping (getting relaxer on previously relaxed hair), which leads to over-processing a.k.a. damaged hair. I recommend having a least two inches of new growth between touch ups or 14-16 weeks.  Relaxing before 14 weeks increases your chances of having overlapping on your hair.
  2. Too much heat- Heat should only be applied to relaxed hair once per week or less. The less heat that is applied, the better. Whenever possible, opt for roller sets or wraps to avoid the heat. If heat is preferred, stick to once per week and wrap or roll the hair for the remainder of the week until the hair is shampooed again.
  3. Heat tool is up too high- When you do apply heat, the heat tool should not be over 400 for freshly relaxed hair. Relaxed hair is already straight, so the heating tool will not require a lot of extra effort to get the smooth and polished look. It should not be up over 400 degrees or it could lead to heat damage.
  4. Adding permanent color- When you have a relaxer, you already have one chemical in your hair. Adding another chemical by getting permanent color is not recommended, especially if you are trying to color your hair more than three shades lighter than your original hair color.  You can however, safely get color if you are only going 1-2 shades lighter than your original color if you also are willing to stretch your relaxer touch ups out to a minimum of 16 weeks each or longer.
  5. Not wrapping your hair- Wrapping is very important for relaxed hair. Not only does it lay the edges and roots down flat, it also protects the ends from splitting as fast as they would if you did not wrap. I know a LOT of you women would rather have your teeth pulled than get your ends trimmed, so wrap your hair to make the trims last longer. Wrapping also helps protect your hair from directly rubbing against whatever fabric you are laying on at night. That friction is what causes the ends to split sooner. Lastly, wrapping helps preserve your hairstyle. No one likes to only look like they got their hair done the day you leave the salon.  You can help your hair look good in between your salon visits by wrapping. Rolling it and/or tying the hair down is also acceptable. Be sure to grab you 100% satin scarf here.
  6. Not drinking enough water- Relaxers can sometimes dry the hair out, so it is essential that we properly moisturize our hair.  The number one way to do that is to drink at least half of your body weight in water.  So, if you weigh 120 pounds, you should drink at least 60 oz of water DAILY.  I know its hard, but trust me when I say you will definitely not only see a difference in your hair and scalp but also in your skin as well. In addition to that, use high quality moisturizing shampoos and conditioners (like these) that constantly add moisture to the hair.


  7. Letting a NON-professional do your touch-ups- I could do a whole blog post on this topic alone but for now I will keep it short. Please, please, PLEASE stop letting your sister, friend, cousin, mom, roommate, etc do your relaxers when they have not stepped foot in a cosmetology school and do not have a license! Remember that relaxers are serious chemicals that can be very harmful if not handled properly! Relaxers should never touch the scalp, and they should not burn, and only trained professionals know how to properly do this correctly Not to mention that there is also a time frame in which they should be applied and rinsed out. Leave the chemicals to the professionals.
  8. Skipping trims- As I said before, I know many of you absolutely do not like getting trims, but they are very good for the hair. Not getting trims only allows the ends that have split to continue to split up the hair shaft resulting in even more hair having to be cut in the long run.  If you wrap your hair nightly, you can get trims every three months to keep your hair healthy.
  9. Trying to get hair bone straight- Trying to have your hair relaxed until it is bone straight is a big no no. When the hair is too straight it is more prone to becoming brittle, which then makes it break easier.  There should be at least 20% elasticity still in the hair to allow it to move and give the hair body. Never, ever aim for 100% straightness when relaxing.
  10. Not keeping hair balanced- By this I mean that healthy hair has an equal balance of protein and moisture. Anytime the hair is lacking in either area, you will notice a change in your hair. Not enough protein leads to breakage while not enough moisture leads to the hair becoming overly dry and also resulting in breakage. Reconstructive treatments (like this one) can help get the hair back on track.
                                                          



Do not let anyone tell you that there is no such thing as healthy, long, relaxed hair. You can have that if you are willing to take care of it.  Remember, nothing worth having comes easy so it takes work to take care of your relaxed hair.  I am a living witness that you can enjoy your relaxed hair being long, growing, thick, and most importantly, healthy!

Take a look at the video of this post below:


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This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something I may earn a commission. Thanks.

Have you been trying and trying to grow your hair and still are not seeing the results you want? Well, you are not alone. There are many women, with relaxed hair and natural hair, who try and try to grow their hair out and it seems like for whatever reason that it just isn't happening. For others it seems like their hair will grow to a certain length and then stop. Today I'm going to help you push past that point to help you get on the track you need to be on to help your hair grow.

Make sure you wrap your hair to help protect your ends

Believe it or not, our hair is constantly growing, despite the fact that is seems like it is not. It does however, grow at a slow rate of only half of an inch per month on average. This means that it would take the average person an entire year to grow only six inches of hair. And, on top of that, you more than likely will not see all six of those inches if you get your trims regularly. I would say that on average, you can expect to see a maximum of four of those six inches. But don't let that discourage you! I also have average-growing hair but to others it seems like my hair grows fast.

                           

The issue is not that your hair is not growing. The issue is that many women are not able to retain their length. As your hair grows it is imperative that you take care of it in order to retain all of the length you get. Anytime the hair gets damaged, the ends become split, etc. that requires you to cut your hair.  This negates any growth that you would have had simply because you had to cut it. Simple things like wrapping your hair every night and getting trims on a regular basis will help you keep all the length you waited so long for. As you get into the habit of wrapping your hair every night and moisturizing and sealing your ends, they will not become split as often because you are protecting them from the friction of rubbing agains the pillowcase every night and you are also protecting them from becoming dry and breaking.

                       

To break it down even further, I recommend getting your trims at each relaxer service or every ten to twelve weeks. This means you would be getting a trim every two and a half to three months. If hair grows half an inch per month, most people would have about one to one and a half inches of new growth at that point. If you trim your ends right as they begin to split, you may only have to cut 1/4 to 1/8 of an inch meaning you would still have .75 to 1.25 inches of new growth. This equates to you still getting about 4-5 inches of new growth per year.  If you are not getting at least 3-4 inches of new growth every year, here are a few things that can keep you from retaining your all of your length.
  • Not wrapping every night- As I said before, wrapping is one of the most important things you can do to help your ends not split as often.  When you don't wrap your hair your ends begin to split faster due to the friction of your hair rubbing against the pillow night after night. Even if you are not necessarily sleeping but just lounging around make sure you wrap your hair to protect your ends (if you need a satin scarf, get one here). If for whatever reason wrapping your hair is not an option for you at least get a satin pillowcase (like these) and it will protect your hair more than a cotton pillowcase would. 
  • Getting relaxers too soon- Getting your relaxer too soon (less than 16 weeks) does not help when you are trying to grow your hair. Stretching them out allows you to get and retain more length because you are maximizing the amount of new growth which helps to ensure that no overlapping will occur. Overlapping of relaxer causes your hair to grow slower than it normally would and can often cause damage that leads to you having to cut more of your hair than you prefer.
  • Too much heat- Putting too much heat on your hair causes your hair to break, especially towards the ends.  I would suggest only putting heat on it once per week or less.
Getting a consistent schedule of having healthy hair habits will help you be able to retain more length and see your hair get longer.







5 Telltale Signs That It Is Time To Shampoo Your Hair Immediately



As a professional hairstylist, a lot of my clients ask me how often or when should they shampoo their hair. Since everyone's hair is different, I can't give one distinct answer. I can however, give you a few signs to know when it's time.  From that, you can develop your own custom time schedule of when you need to shampoo your hair.  For me that time period is every week, or once every seven days although sometimes I get too lazy and try to push it to ten days.  Here are a few signs that your hair will give you when it's time for a shampoo.

  1. Your hair no longer has body- Once your hair goes lifeless on you and you no longer have the "gone with the wind fabulous" hair it is more than likely time for it to be thoroughly cleansed.  That goes for weave as well as your natural hair.  It does that when there is a lot of product build up and residue on the hair.  The hair becomes weighed down and will only move if you vigorously shake your head.  And unless you are trying to get a headache, who has time for that?
  2. Your scalp starts itching- This is another sign that your hair is ready for some shampoo and water.  Once your scalp starts itching every few minutes its definitely time to shampoo your hair. For me this begins to happen around day five, but by day seven I can't take it anymore.
  3. Your hair feels oily to the touch- This happens because your hair makes its own oil called sebum naturally plus we add other products to our hair which causes it to become super oily after so many days. Once this happens, the hair gets weighed down (see item #1) and somewhat greasy to the touch.  I hate that feeling! That is how my hair used to feel when I would shampoo every two weeks. Thus the reason I switched to shampooing every one week.
  4. You notice flaking- This is mostly for dry hair ladies.  Once you notice that your scalp starts flaking or once you notice flakes on your shirt after combing your hair, it's time to shampoo.  Even when you use a dandruff shampoo, you have to use it on a regular basis for it to be the most effective.  If you only use it every once in a while, you will think that it doesn't work.
  5. Your hair has been exposed to certain elements- Even if you are on a certain schedule like every week or every two weeks when you shampoo your hair, you may have to make changes according to what your hair is exposed to.  If you are at the family bbq and around a lot of smoke, you definitely want to shampoo that out of your hair.  The same goes for if you go to the beach or get in a swimming pool that contains chlorine.  Chlorine can be very damaging to the hair so if your hair is exposed to certain elements, you want to shampoo immediately to avoid any damage to the hair.


by L. Jones Protein & Strengthening Collection

Now that you know when you should shampoo, lather up!  And don't forget to use your favorite by L. Jones products on shampoo day!

Check out the video for this post here:


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