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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5 professional tips to make stretching your relaxer easier

As a relaxed hair specialist, I have not only have a lot of relaxed clients, but there also many relaxed women who always ask me for tips on how to stretch their relaxer. It was very common for women to get a touch up at six weeks, so when I explain why women should stretch their relaxer to sixteen weeks, the first question is always how. Today I want to give you five of my professional tips to make stretching your relaxer easier.

Rods are a great way to camouflage your new growth

  1. Take it one week at a time- When you hear sixteen weeks, it sounds like a long time! Instead of thinking about all sixteen weeks at once, take it one week at a time. When you do this it won't seem bad at all.
  2. Learn how to manage your new growth- A lot of women prefer for their hair to be bone straight so any sign of new growth sends them into a panic. Learning how to manage your new growth will make stretching so much easier. One way is to soften it up so that it is much easier to deal with like your relaxed hair. Using products (like these), that include deep conditioners, leave in conditioners, and pre poo masks, will soften your hair and make it MUCH easier to handle.
  3. Do more styles that camouflage your two textures- When you first begin to stretch, it may be a bit overwhelming. It will be easier if you learn how to do more hairstyles that camouflage the fact that you are dealing with two textures. Buns, rods, updos, and even protective styles will help the weeks pass during your stretch. I have several tutorials here, that will help you learn how to hide the fact that you have two textures during your stretch. 
  4. Treat your hair like you're natural when wanting to wear it straight- I love for my hair to be straight. I personally go six months (minimum) when stretching my relaxer but even if I want to wear my hair straight in month five, I expect it to be as straight as when I have a fresh relaxer. In order to do that, I treat my hair like it's natural (technically my new growth is) and give myself a silk press (learn how to do this here). After I'm done, I then wrap it for the entire time that I'm wearing it straight in order to keep it that way.
  5. Embrace and welcome your new growth- Many women see their new growth and think it's the end of the world. Remember that new growth is just that, new GROWTH. Key word being growth! New growth is a sign that your hair is growing. The more you have, the more length you are getting. For those of you that think you hair does not grow, having new growth is your proof that it does!
Embrace and welcome your new growth! 

Follow these professional tips for stretching your relaxer and the process will become much easier. In no time stretching your relaxer will be more like second nature to you!

Take stretching your relaxer one week at a time
Check out the video here:

Why does my hair break when I try to stretch my relaxer?

Being a relaxed hair specialist and relaxed hair blogger, I find myself often explaining to women with relaxed hair the importance of stretching their relaxer. I have noticed that the most common question pertaining to stretching relaxed hair other than how to stretch, is how to stop the hair from breaking while relaxer stretching. For many women, they feel like they can only relaxer stretch only for so long before their hair begins to break. I would like to be the first to tell you that this is a myth. Being a professional hairstylist that also has relaxed hair, I get a lot of relaxed clients and I have yet to see one who was able to stop hair breakage by applying a relaxer.

Relaxed hair blogger: LaToya Jones

Let's take a deeper look at this. If it were really true that stretching your relaxer causes breakage, and they only thing that would stop it from breaking was getting a touch up, then how is it possible for anyone to transition to natural? Think about it. If you wanted to transition to natural, but doing so caused breakage, that means that you would go bald! But of course, we know that is not true because everyone knows at least one person who transitioned to natural without all of their hair breaking off. This alone is proof that it is definitely not true that your relaxed hair breaks as a result of you stretching.

Getting a relaxer does not stop breakage

The fact of the matter is that if your relaxed hair starts to break when you try to stretch your relaxers out, that is a sign that your hair is already weak and possible damaged. If you are getting your relaxers too soon and have some over-processed hair, your hair is not as strong as it should be. As your new growth (the stronger hair) comes in, it makes it more difficult for the weaker part of the hair to hold on. If the hair has been over-processed enough times, it is very fragile and does not take much to break off.

Stretching your relaxer is key for stronger hair
In order to stop the hair from breaking, you'll need to continue to stretch your relaxers. This is the only way to stop over-processing the hair which is what is causing it to be weak in the first place. Trust me on this. When you get in the habit of stretching your relaxers, you will notice that your hair is much stronger and also is much thicker from root to tip.

Remember to only let a trusted, licensed hairstylists to do your relaxers
The whole point of relaxer stretching is to get enough new growth so that when your hair is relaxed (by a professional of course), that only your new growth is relaxed and previously relaxed hair is not relaxed again. So, if you relaxer stretch and still over-process your hair by trying to do your own relaxer, you are basically defeating the whole purpose of stretching. A hairstylist that you trust can clearly see your unrelaxed hair and stop at your line of demarcation, ensuring that your hair stays healthy. Please be sure you are only letting qualified professional hairstylists are doing your chemical services. You can always come see me in my salon (click here for an appointment) and I'd be happy to do it for you! Even if you don't live in the area, you won't be first to come see from out of town!

Are you on Instagram or Facebook? Be sure to follow me @_latoya.jones

Check out the video for this post:

The only way to have healthy relaxed hair
 In a world full of women who have ditched their relaxer and decided to embrace their natural hair, I am one of those women who chooses to keep my relaxer. If you ask any natural woman, they will tell you that their hair is much healthier without a relaxer. I'm here to tell you that relaxed hair does not equal unhealthy hair. While it definitely is possible to damage your relaxed hair, it is also very much possible to damage your natural hair as well. One way to ensure that your relaxed hair becomes and/or remains healthy is to stretch your relaxer.

Relaxed hair should be thick from the root to the ends
Typically, it was customary and acceptable for women to get a relaxer touch every six to eight weeks. Relaxer stretching means going longer than six to eight weeks for your touch up. I personally recommend that my clients go sixteen weeks in between relaxers, or, whenever they get two inches of new growth, whichever comes first.

5 months (20 weeks) of relaxer stretching!
Why relaxer stretch? Having a relaxer means that your hair has been permanently, chemically straightened. Since this is a permanent process, it does not have to be repeated on the same hair. Only the new growth is supposed to be touched up. When receiving a touch up service, hair that has been previously relaxed should not be relaxed again. Doing so would cause overlapping, which leads to over processing. Over processed hair becomes damaged, gets very thin and brittle, and eventually breaks off. This is why it is crucial that overlapping does not occur.

I go a minimum of 6 MONTHS (not weeks) in between relaxers
Hair typically grows at half an inch per month. A month is typically four weeks. At six weeks the hair has not grown a full inch. In my professional career, I have noticed that when a relaxer touch up is being given, typically about two inches of hair gets processed. It is my theory that if two inches of hair gets processed at a touch up service, then you should have two inches of new growth before getting a touch up. It takes sixteen weeks (four months) for the hair to grow two inches. If you get touch ups every six weeks and get two inches of hair processed each time while only growing half an inch of hair, that means one and a half inches of your hair is being over processed EVERY TIME YOU GET A TOUCH UP!

Relaxed hair that is stretched is the healthiest
Over time, continuing to get a relaxer every six weeks, even every eight weeks will cause damage to your hair. You'll start feeling like your hair is not growing and is either stuck at one length or keeps getting shorter. In actuality, your hair is growing but the hair on the ends is the oldest hair and often the most damaged. If your hair is over processed, you'll always have split ends that need to be cut and you may notice that your ends are extremely thin and/or see through. Since your hair is always having to be cut due to damage, you are cutting off all of the hair that you grew. So, the issue is not that your hair isn't growing, instead the issue is that you are unable to retain length.

Want healthy relaxed hair? You HAVE to stretch it!
Stretching your relaxer will allow you to have healthy hair from the root to the tip. Once you begin stretching, you'll notice your hair becomes thicker and stronger. You'll also notice that you are able to retain length so your hair will become longer and longer. Now that you know why you should stretch your relaxer, make it a goal to go at least sixteen weeks (or get two inches of new growth), before your next relaxer. Trust me (the professional), your hair will thank you!

Check out the video for this post below:

8 simple tips to get rid of dry hair

We all hate it, hair that looks absolutely dryer than the Sahara desert. I am talking about hair that is so dry that it feels brittle to the touch and will break if you even look at it hard enough. I get so many clients who come to me craving any product that will help their hair look moisturized. There are many things that will help your hair look moisturized and today we will explore them all! Beware, too much moisture can make your hair look greasy and weigh it down. So, how do you have healthy looking, moisturized hair that still moves and has lots of body? Let's get started.

properly moisturized relaxed hair

1. Drink PLENTY of water! Yes I know what you are going to say. You already drink water right? No, I am not talking about just one cute little twenty ounce bottle. You should be drinking half of your body weight (in pounds) of water. If you weight two hundred pounds, your minimum water intake (daily) should be one hundred ounces. This should be a daily ritual! I am talking to myself as well. We are all guilty of not getting enough water every day. My problem is that I do not like to drink water when I eat. I can drink it after I drink my regular beverage of choice AFTER I eat just fine though. For example, when I go to a fast food restaurant I always order a small drink and a large water with my food. Once I am done with the water, I try to refill the cup with water an additional two times to get closer to my daily goal. Water has several benefits with the most obvious being it is an excellent hydrator. When your scalp is dry more than likely the skin on the rest of your body is as well. As a result, this contributes to our hair becoming dry and often beginning to flake (see more here). So, your first step is to drink up!

2. Eat plenty of fruits and veggies. Since we are on the theme of hydrating from the inside, I will continue with our diet. A diet that is well balanced and includes fruits and vegetables also helps to hydrate us. It may not seem like it is affecting us right away because we want everything to happen so quickly but I now for a fact that hydrating from the inside works. When I took my 90-day water challenge, I could noticeably tell a difference in my skin AND my scalp.

get rid of dry hair by properly moisturizing from the inside out

3. Start using high-quality products. Have you ever heard the saying "you get what you pay for"? Well all of those cheap hair products, especially the shampoo is very harsh and strips the hair which causes it to dry out. Also, you end up using more of it to try to get the results of using less of a product with higher quality ingredients. Salon grade products like by L. Jones are excellent on the hair because they are gentle but still very effective on cleansing. Yes they cost a little more but just like healthier food costs more and is better for you it is the same difference here.

4. Use the right products for your hair type. This is very important. You must use the correct products for your hair. What problems are you having with your hair? If your hair is dry, you must use moisturizing products, including shampoos, conditioners, and in many cases, a deep conditioner or moisture treatment. I have an excellent moisture shampoo and moisture treatment that are great for dry hair. The Extreme Moisture shampoo includes liquid silk and silk amino acids to help the hair have a silky look and feel. The Intense Moisture Treatment includes oils that actually penetrate the hair and hydrate the hair from the inside as opposed to oils that only sit on top or coat the hair. When you have dry hair, it is crucial to use products that have extra moisture in them so that you can get rid of your dry hair.

5. Always use a leave-in- Leave-in conditioners are great because you do not have to rinse them out. They add extra moisture to your hair which is what dry hair always needs. I recommend using a liquid based leave-in like by L. Jones Leave-In because it not only adds an extra layer of moisture but it also detangles and acts as a heat protectant. If you prefer a cream based leave-in conditioner use it sparingly to avoid product build up.

how to get rid of dry hair

6. Stop using grease! Despite what you have been told, grease is not the answer for dry hair. The only thing grease does is put a thick coat on the hair which prevents moisture from going in or coming out. That is why no matter how much grease you put on your hair it never seems like its enough. You may notice that your hair seems to "eat" the grease or that your hair seems even drier no matter how much grease you put on. Well that is because it is fighting the little moisture you have AND not allowing any more in. Grease is like a band-aid, it only covers up the real problem. You want products (like by L. Jones) that will penetrate your hair shaft and moisturize from within.

7. Limit your heat usage. Heat usage should only be once per week or less. I know, I know, sometimes you just have to touch up just one piece of hair. What could that hurt right? Wrong! If you fall into the habit of "touch up" pieces here and there, next thing you know you are flat ironing all of your hair every other day. Too much heat can cause your hair to dry out, become brittle, then break.

8. Be careful with color. Permanent hair color can cause the hair to dry out, especially if you are going from very dark hair to very light hair. To avoid the hair becoming dry, I advise that you do not go more than three levels above your original hair color. Also, if you decide to get hair color be sure that you can not only afford the cost of the service but that you also budget for the cost of maintenance. Regular deep conditioning and reconstructive treatments are essential to have healthy hair that is permanently colored.

Check out the video below:

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When your hair is damaged, it needs a bit more love than usual. Damaged hair needs extra special attention in order to properly nurse it back to health, especially hair that has a chemical like relaxers and permanent hair color.

Today's tip is to handle your damaged hair with care. What I mean by that is to go above and beyond so that your hair can properly get back in shape. You can do this by doing the following:

  • Shampoo weekly
  • Deep condition/reconstruct every time you shampoo
  • Trim on a consistent schedule
  • Avoid heat and opt for non-heat styles

If you simply do these four things, you will see drastic improvements in your hair. Once your hair is back healthy, keep that same energy instead of slipping back in to the bad habits that caused your hair to become damaged in the first place!

Check out the video below!

The Healthy Relaxed Hair Journal

Is Your Hair Always Dry?

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