LaToya Jones

Healthy Hair Care Tips For Relaxed & Natural Hair From A Professional Hairstylist

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I have spoken to many women who put heat in their hair way more often than they should, some every day, without even thinking twice about causing any damage to the hair.  Then they turn right around and ask me why their hair is breaking and doesn't seem like it is growing. Of course, for a professional hairstylist the answer may seem quite obvious, but I have learned to not assume what people may or may not know. As a healthy hair expert it is my job to educate women on proper hair care etiquette so I simply err on the side of caution and teach like it is your first time hearing it.

I have seen hair grow quite well when heat is removed from the equation, because as mentioned earlier, it can often be misused and have the adverse effect of causing damage. So, for the next eight weeks I am going to be doing a no heat challenge where I will be styling my hair for basically two months straight without using a flat iron or curling iron. This is a great way to give your hair a break and allow it to have a bit of a growth spurt.

This week I am doing a curly, rodded updo. I chose this style because I am five months post relaxer so my new growth is literally out of control. With rods, I can easily blend the two textures without relying on heat. I chose to do an updo to make it easier for me to maintain and because this week I preferred a style that was not touching my neck (Alabama weather in the summer is no joke)!

Products I used from the by L. Jones line were:

I set my hair on some flexi rods (blue and orange), let it dry, then pinned it up. For a detailed tutorial on how to flexi rod your own hair click here. The same technique is used but on blue and orange rollers, and instead of leaving it down, simply pull it up with bobby pins.

This style did great although I did have to touch it up on day two. Check out the video below to see exactly what I'm talking about.
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Click here for the full video.

10 shocking secrets you didn't know about dandruff

Many of the clients in my salon have asked me what causes dandruff and how to get rid of it. The truth is that a lot of women, myself included, have suffered from dandruff and/or flaking at some point or another. But what exactly is dandruff anyway? Dandruff, also technically known as Pityriasis simplex capillitii, is a common issue among both women and men. It is a common myth that dandruff comes from having dry scalp, but that is not necessarily true.  Dry scalp can result in flaking, but most forms of dandruff are not caused by dry scalp. It is very possible to have an oily scalp and have dandruff.  The definition for dandruff is small pieces of dead skin in a person's hair. It is actually the shedding of dead skin cells from the scalp. The scalp is also considered to be skin, and skin cells are constantly renewing themselves. Therefore, when the new skin cells emerge, the old ones are pushed to the surface of the scalp, causing dandruff appear.  Some people shed more dead skin cells than others, which results in more dandruff appearing. Dandruff often causes itching, but most dandruff can be cured or kept under control with more frequent shampooing, sometimes with a shampoo formulated especially for dandruff.  I recommend my clients with mild cases of dandruff shampoo weekly with a clarifying shampoo (like this one), and follow up with a moisturizing shampoo (like this one)

what causes dandruff and how to get rid of it.

Now that we know exactly what dandruff is, I want to go over ten shocking secrets that you didn't know about dandruff. You may notice that your dandruff is not what you would consider to be mild.  In that case, there are different kinds of dandruff or you may have an underlying condition.  Excessive flaking could be caused by seborrheic dermatitis, a fungal infection, psoriasis, or possibly head lice. Let's take a closer look at each of these that you may not know about dandruff.

  1. Seborrheic dermatitis-  This is a more severe type of dandruff in which the skin becomes inflamed and flaky.  People with seborrheic dermatitis notice larger, greasier flakes.  It can also affect the skin in other areas such as ears, eyebrows, forehead, cheeks, and armpits.  You may also notice that the head feels tight, tingly, sore, and/or itchy.  If you notice that your scalp becomes red, swollen, and none of your home remedies have worked, it may be best to see your doctor.
  2. Cradle cap- is a mild form of seborrheic dermatitis that only affects infants.  It normally clears by the time the baby reaches age 1. Until then use this shampoo to help with the cradle cap.
  3. Malassezia (fungal infection) This is a yeast-like fungus that lives on the scalp and can be caused by an allergic reaction, stress, illness, changes in hormones, or just not shampooing often enough.  It feeds on oils secreted by your hair follicles (sebum) and can irritate your scalp.  It can resemble seborrheic dermatitis in the way it looks.
  4. Psoriasis- Psoriasis can lead to the most serious form of dandruff. It is accompanied by an accumulation of dead skin cells that appear as thick, silvery scales. Psoriasis can also occur on the knees and lower back, but most often happens on the scalp.  It results in a very rapid shedding of skin cells, and when this happens on the scalp, dandruff appears.  However, unlike seborrheic dermatitis and malassezia, it is not contagious.
  5. Head lice- Head lice is NOT dandruff, however, they can appear to look similar.  Head lice attach their eggs to the person's strands of hair.  The eggs are tiny like dandruff, but it is not a form of dandruff.  If you try to brush the hair or shake the head and item easily comes out, most likely this is dandruff.  If the item is mostly uniform and looks oval shaped, it is most likely head lice.  Dandruff flakes are not uniform, instead they are all shapes and sizes. Head lice on the other hand is uniform and oval shaped.  Lastly, if the item is mostly only close to the root of the hair, it is most likely lice. Dandruff can be located at the root as well as further down the hair shaft. If you suspect you have head lice, treat this immediately at home! Don't go to your stylist asking them to treat if for you..
how to get rid of dandruff

Other facts about dandruff:

  • It's contagious!- It is not wise to share combs and/or brushes with anyone because dandruff can spread. Also if you have dandruff, wash your combs and brushes with hot water and soap.
  • It can be worse in winter, extreme temps can aggravate dandruff- Winter months have much less moisture in the hair. If your flaking is caused by dry scalp, winter months will make it much worse unless you shampoo weekly with moisturizing products (like these).
  • Kids can have dandruff also-Yes your kids can have dandruff and you can spread it to them if you share combs and brushes.
  • Keeping the scalp covered does not reduce chance of getting dandruff-Some people believe that if you keep your hair wrapped or covered that it will help with your dandruff. This is false!
  • You may need to see your doctor for severe cases- If your dandruff seems abnormal to you head to your dermatologist to get to the bottom of the issue.

Dandruff is very common, I even experience it myself.  But I find that shampooing my hair weekly keeps it to a bare minimum.  So the good news is that it can be cured! Now that you have been introduced to what causes dandruff, you can more clearly identify which case yours falls under, fight it, and get rid of it for good.

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What is a silk press?
Hey there! I'm LaToya Jones, a professional hairstylist, salon owner, and healthy hair specialist. I have been doing hair professionally for over thirteen years now and over half of my clientele comes to me to get a silk press. I can basically do a perfect silk press with my eyes closed! In fact, I developed a hair care line (called by L. Jones) specifically so I can have products to get the hair super soft and super moisturized, all which are super important when doing a silk press.

If you have stumbled across this post, more than likely you have heard of the term "silk press" and want to know more information about them, including what they are. Don' t worry, you are not alone!  In fact, I get this question quite often from my salon clients (natural as well as relaxed) since this is a service that I offer and do rather frequently. So today I would like to explain to you exactly what a silk press is.  A silk press is basically an upgraded version of a traditional press and curl.  As with a press and curl, the hot comb is warmed up then used to press your hair to get it straight.  Most of the time grease, or some greasy-like substance, is used to help get the hair straight.  And while grease does help get the hair very straight, it also leaves the hair extremely heavy, with no body or movement, and often looking like it is stuck to the head.

A silk press is a modern day press and curl that gives natural hair the look like it has been relaxed. It allows the natural hair to be very straight, shiny, silky, soft, and most importantly the hair has a lot of body and movement.  It is for natural hair only because relaxed hair is already straight so the need to press it is not necessary (unless you stretch your relaxers and want to press your new growth to match your relaxed hair).  A silk press on relaxed hair is just a flat iron.  Unlike a traditional press and curl, a silk press does not use a hot comb at all.  Instead, a very good flat iron (like this one) is used.  Also, absolutely no grease is used with a silk press, although a light oil serum can be used to add shine without weighing the hair down.  I use the high quality hair products (that I make myself!) from the by L. Jones line which is infused with a ton of moisturizers (moisture is extremely important when getting a silk press), like liquid silk, already in the products. Let's take a look at a client I had who received her first silk press in a very long time.
Before & After silk press on natural hair using by L. Jones products

This client has been natural for years.  The picture above is a before and after showing her original curl pattern (left) and how it looks once the silk press is complete (right). I love using the by L. Jones products to do silk presses (see why here) because the hair comes out looking like it was freshly  relaxed although it is not.

I started off with the Extreme Clean Clarifying Shampoo to remove all dirt, oil, and residue off of the hair making it squeaky clean and ready to receive the good moisture. Unlike many other clarifying shampoos, this one is sulfate free and paraben free so it will not strip the hair. Then I shampooed again with the Extreme Moisture Shampoo. This shampoo starts the process of adding the moisture back inside the hair.

Click here to take my online silk press tutorial.

If your hair always seems dry and like it is craving moisture, always use a moisturizing shampoo. Next I used the Replenishing Conditioner to add moisture (use the Intense Moisture Treatment  instead if hair is extremely dry). After that, I generously applied the Leave-In Conditioner because it serves three purposes: it moisturizes, detangles, and acts as a heat protectant. I combed this through from the root to the ends of the hair. After that the hair was blown dry and flat ironed with a Toi by L. Jones (Primo) flat iron. I love, love, love this flat iron because it's titanium plates are the only ones on the market that go up to 480 degrees (only the thickest, most course hair will need this"! While that may sound extremely hot, it allows me to go through even the thickest, most course hair with only one pass. And anytime I do a silk press, the hair always reverts back to its original curl pattern without receiving any heat damage (see why here)!

before and after silk press on natural hair using by L. Jones products

The rest of the pictures are also before and afters of other clients of mine. Even though the hair looks very straight it can and will revert back at the first sign of moisture in the hair. To remain straight, the hair must remain dry. There are two other things that you should NEVER do right after you get a silk press (see here) in order for it to last. The reason why I love the Toi flat iron is because it gets the hair this straight with only one pass. That is how I avoid heat damage on my clients' hair.

silk press on natural hair using by L. Jones products

To maintain this look, these ladies will wrap it every day with their silk scarf.  It will last up to three weeks, although I do not recommend going beyond two weeks without shampooing the hair again.  If any of these ladies notice a few fly aways, they can spray by L. Jones Miracle Potion no9 on it, as it works wonders for natural hair by controlling the frizz while giving it a boost of shine.

Here is one last before and after:

The women in the pictures above came to my salon to get their silk press but you can also do it on yourself if you have the right products & hair tools. To get the perfect silk press in seven easy steps click here! Also, see the video below for the entire silk press process from start to finish (be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel while you're looking at the video)!

Here are a few frequently asked questions I get about doing a silk press:

  1. Can a silk press damage your hair? Yes it can. If done incorrectly, you can definitely get some heat damage. Click here for further explanation and to see how to avoid this.
  2. How long does a silk press last? That answer depends. Normally it will last 1-2 weeks. Click here for a full explanation. 
  3. Can you get a silk press right after taking braids down? Yes, you absolutely can. There are a few things you should do first though. Click here to see more.
  4. Can I do my own silk press at home? How? Yes, you can definitely do your own silk press at home, no matter what hair type you have. Click here for more info.
  5. Is there anything I should NOT do to my silk press? Yes! Click here to get my top 3 things you should never do when you have a silk press.

Do you wish you could do your own silk press and make it look just like you went to a salon? Or maybe you have daughters and would like to learn how to silk press their hair so you don't have to to to the salon. Or, you might be a hairstylist who wants to sharpen your craft. If so, you will love my DIY Silk Press Masterclass! Click here for more info. It is an online class that you can take right in the comfort of your own home at your own pace and I teach you all of the hairstylist tips and tricks to getting the perfect silk press.

What is a silk press? How to do your own professional looking silk press.

And that's it! You now know everything about doing a silk press!

Want a FREE PDF guide for doing your own silk press?
Click here to have your own downloadable guide for how to do your own silk press like a pro!

Where to get products for a silk press:

Where to get the best flat iron for a silk press:

Want to learn all the PRO secrets and do your own silk press at home?
Click here to take my online class which is a step by step tutorial on how to get a professional looking silk press on ANY hair type!

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3 ways to avoid heat damage to your hair
Many women, myself included, like to put heat in their hair.  Some women, however get a bit carried away and flat iron their hair way too much. Bumping one piece of hair here or there turns into putting heat in the hair everyday!  This is where the heat damage comes in.  I always say that heat can be your friend.  It is excessive heat that is your enemy.

healthy hair that has been flat ironed only once
Flat ironing or curling the hair should be done once per week or less only.  So basically you should only be adding heat when

Even as a professional hairstylist, I still sometimes have bad hair days. However, I feel like it is absolutely unacceptable for me to come into my salon with bad hair and expecting women to trust me to make their hair look good. Therefore, I have a few "bad hair day" styles in my reserve for when I need them. There are three simple and easy hairstyles that I have for bad hair days that anyone can do. For each hairstyle that I will list below, I will give two variations to show how you can switch it up.

1. The Bun- The bun is an oldie but goodie. Anytime I have a bad hair day, it is the first style that I think of. It is so simple and easy to do and it can be done in a fraction of time. Also, they can be worn all over the head to give you some variety. Buns can also be worn with your own hair or you can use the help of some inexpensive hair pieces. The bun I use is actually a drawstring ponytail that I made using hair from L. Jones Hair Collection. It is two bundles and once I put the ponytail on, I simply wrapped it around like a bun and pinned it down. Simple!

2. The Ponytail- Ponytails will never go out of style and can look very cute. They do not have to look bad! Adding a little hair can go a long way. This is the same ponytail that I made on a drawstring and put up in a bun. The pic below shows how the ponytail looks without being pinned up. Again, this is two bundles of hair (16 & 18 inch) from L. Jones Hair Collection. I liked this ponytail so much that I am even thinking about making another one with wavy hair!

3. The Wig- I think everyone needs at least one good wig as a backup. I used be totally against wigs, but once I started making my own and seeing that they don't all look wiggy I am a huge fan. I now have so many wigs in my linen closet that I do not have enough room for my towels! You don't have to wear them everyday, you can just pull it out when you really need it. Remember, your wig should be optional, not required. This is one of my wig creations that I made using the hair from L. Jones Hair Collection.

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The Healthy Relaxed Hair Journal

Is Your Hair Always Dry?

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