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 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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How to take care of your relaxed hair in 9 easy steps

A lot of women these days are going the natural route because they want healthier hair.  There is nothing wrong with this decision, however, it is possible to have healthy hair AND have it relaxed at the same time!  Here are nine steps to take care of your relaxed hair.

1.  Stretch out touch ups until you see at least 2 inches of new growth. Getting touch ups every 14-16 weeks instead of every 4-6 weeks makes it much less likely for your hair to be damaged due to over-processing caused by overlapping. Read more here.

2.  Don't aim to get bone straight hair.  Think of the straw at the end of a broom, they break easily because they are so straight and stiff.  It's the same way with hair.  Your hair needs elasticity in it so it can move and flow, and not be prone to breakage so easily.  The hair should be 80% straight for optimum health.





Being a professional hairstylist, I do many weave/extension services. As I started doing more and more of these services, a frequently asked question has been what kind of hair to purchase since many of my clients are trying sew-ins and clip-ins for the first time. Being asked this question so many times is what ultimately led me to starting my own hair company. Before, I had no intention on selling hair, but I realized that I want to ensure that my clients can get a brand of hair that they could trust. As for me, I wanted reliable hair that I could use on a regular basis and receive the same results each time, thus L. Jones Hair Collection was born. I have learned (the hard way) that the kind of hair you purchase when getting weave/extension services is crucial to the lifespan of the service you get. You could have an amazing sew-in but if the hair is not great quality hair, you will not enjoy that amazing sew-in for long. In this post, I will explain the pros and cons of hair that comes in bundles and hair that comes in packs, and how to choose which one is best for you.  



Many of you have already heard the terms "pack" as well as "bundle" when it comes to weave.  If someone says their hair came in a pack, that means that they bought their hair from the beauty supply store.


The picture above is what packs of hair look like.

When someone says their hair came in a bundle that means that their hair was ordered and did not come from a beauty supply store. Although, nowadays there are some beauty supply stores that sell hair in the bundle, but the quality is not that great.

Bundles of hair (body wave-L. Jones Hair Collection)

Before I knew better, I used to always get beauty supply hair. I had never experienced using anything better so I did not know better existed. One day someone asked me why I wasn't using bundle hair.
Shortly afterwards I used it for the first time and could immediately tell a big difference in the quality. The hair that was in the bundle felt so much better and lasted so much longer that since using it I have not used anything else since.  Now I can tell you, from my experience as well as my clients' experience, the differences between the two. Let's start with pack hair. Here are a few pros and cons to buying beauty supply store hair.
  • You only get one use out of it- This could be a pro and/or a con depending on how you look at it. On one hand if you are only going to use the hair once and for a short period of time, this may be ideal for you. If you get some pack hair and really like it you have to buy new hair each time you get ready for a new install. It is better, in my opinion, to pay a little more and be able to use the hair more than once.
  • It has already been processed (this means if you try to color it, it is practically impossible)
  • Not good quality (often much coarser than bundle hair)
  • Cheap- Again, this could be a pro if you only need the hair for a short while
  • Tangles (you constantly have to try to comb/brush the tangles out)
  • Sheds
  • Can't be shampooed without matting up (I've seen this happen and it was a disaster)
If I had a choice, I would not recommend beauty supply hair.  However, there are a few instances where I would not necessarily be against it either.  If it is your first time wearing weave and you are not going to have it in long, or you are not quite ready to commit to the price of bundled hair, you can test the waters with beauty supply hair.  It will allow you to somewhat experience what it would be like to have weave/extensions. It's not like it's going to make your hair fall out or anything, but it's like choosing between a choice cut sirloin steak and spam. If you like how your weave/extensions look with beauty supply hair then chances are that you will love bundled hair. There a handful of brands in the beauty supply store that are not just absolutely terrible but you have to search for them. 

Here are a few pros to purchasing bundled hair:
  • lasts longer
  • can be used more than once
  • virgin, unprocessed hair (meaning it can be colored several times to whatever color you like)
  • does not tangle
  • does not shed
  • can be shampooed as often as necessary
  • can be colored
The only con to bundle hair is that it costs more. But that also depends on how you look at it. You are paying more up front but you get to use it for so much longer than pack hair. Hair in L. Jones Hair Collection can be used for one year or more with proper care and maintenance. So if you divide the cost up by the number of times you can use it, it is definitely more cost effective to get bundled hair. If you plan on wearing your weave for a long period of time or are getting a sew in, I highly recommend that you invest in quality hair.  But don't be fooled, just because your hair is ordered and comes in a bundle does not make it higher quality.  I was once asked to style someone's hair who already had it sewn in by someone else.  She was told that the hair was high quality (bundled) Brazilian virgin hair.  However, once I shampooed the hair it tangled up and matted up so bad that I could not even detangle it. The client had to go home and cut it out.  See pic below:


This picture really does not do what was happening in real life any justice. As soon as I wet this hair, it got matted and tangled so bad that I could not even stick my finger through it.  This was the first time that I actually had to send someone home without doing anything to the hair.  I spent an hour trying to detangle it and this is how far I got.  I just had to pull it back in a ponytail and send her home to cut it out. I would have done this myself but I only scheduled a certain amount of time for her and trying to detangle the hair took up all of that time and then some and I had somewhere that I had to be.  So in order to find out if your bundled hair is any good, first make the person you are ordering from show you pics of their work and if possible ask that they show you a sample of the hair that they will be using.  Also, if you are ordering it from a company, google reviews of the company's hair.  This will give you a clearer picture of how reputable the company is. You can also ask the company what grade of hair they use. The higher the number, the better the grade. Currently the highest grade is 10A, but it is also the most expensive. The hair in L. Jones Hair Collection is 7A & 10A. I offer both for those that really don't want to pay premium pricing but still want great quality hair. I don't recommend anything under 6A.



The next question I get asked a lot is how many bundles is enough? If you want to get a full sew in two bundles would be enough to do your entire head in some cases.  Some people like to use more to make it look more full. Longer lengths however, require more bundles because not as much hair is in them. The way bundled hair is measured is by weight. Longer hair weighs more so shorter lengths generally have more hair in them. If you are getting hair longer than 18 inches you would at least need three bundles of hair.  If you are on a budget or do not desire it to look extremely full you can get two bundles and be just fine.

**Note** All hair used in this post (except for the pack hair) came from L. Jones Hair Collection





One of the most frequently asked questions I get as a professional hairstylist is how can they tell if their hair is damaged. Most of the time it is pretty obvious if your hair is damaged or not. You can literally see it. To be completely honest, most people that are extremely concerned with the health of their hair do NOT have damaged hair, at least it is not nearly as bad as they think. Even before I became a professional hairstylist, I learned a lot of things about my hair the hard way. Now, as a hair care specialist, I can easily spot damaged hair, on my own head as well as on someone else.


I myself have had heat damage, color damage, damage from neglect. You name it, I've probably experienced it first hand. Just another reason why I'm thankful for having thick hair and even more thankful for still having edges. Today I'm going to give you a five hair tips so that you will be able to know for sure if your hair is damaged or not.



Your hair falls out/ you have bald spots- This is as obvious as it can get. If you have severe damage to your hair, the worst possible outcome is hair loss. If your hair suddenly starts coming out after getting a particular service done, it's safe to say you have damage. This does not include hair loss due to medications being taken or medical procedures being done. This is strictly pertaining to hair loss as a direct result of a service done to your hair (i.e bad relaxer, color gone wrong, braids too tight, etc)  
  

Hair starts breaking off in certain areas- This can occur for many reasons including wearing excessive ponytails, over-processing relaxers, and the most popular, permanent color gone wrong. When you notice your hair breaking after doing any of these things, more than likely you have received damage. 


Your hair is significantly thinner in spots- I have had clients where their hair was thick from the root of the hair to about the middle of the hair shaft, then got noticeably thinner. The first client that I experienced like that really puzzled me because I was just so curious as to why the hair would do that. I still do not know the cause of this. My client didn't know what the previous stylist was using on her hair, but if I had to guess I would say usage of a certain type of product did this. I know a shampoo or conditioner couldn't have caused it so I'm assuming it may have been improper usage of a relaxer (getting them too frequently). Anyway, once she started coming to me the hair thickened up all the way down to the ends. What I do know is that when she started coming to me, we started stretching her relaxer to sixteen weeks versus six. If you are relaxed and notice that your hair is very thin, that is even more reason to relaxer stretch.

Split ends- Split ends is a form of damage and can be easily fixed by simply cutting them. If you don't cut your split ends off, the hair will continue to split up the hair shaft resulting in having to cut more of the hair later. There is no product on the market (not even by L. Jones) that will repair split ends. Products that claim they can repair split ends only give the hair the illusion of mending the split ends together. Once the hair gets wet again and the product is shampooed from the hair, you well clearly be able to see that they are still splitting. This is why I don't consider simply needing a trim as having major damage because it can be cured in about 10-15 minutes.


Your hair seems permanently frizzy- This mostly happens the hair has been heat damaged and is often followed by excessive shedding. Having too much heat on the hair can open the cuticle layer on the hair and to the naked eye, this appears as frizz. Once the hair is nursed back to health, the cuticle of the hair will then close back up making the hair appear smooth again. Products like these are designed to reverse damage and bring the hair's porosity back to normal.

If you notice any of the above changes to your hair it is safe to say that you have some form of damage to your hair.  But the good news is that most damage can be reversed and your hair can be healthy again! Check out this video below.

                                             


One way to definitely help your hair grow is through protective styling. A lot of the time we don't notice that our hair is growing because we see it every day. However, someone that may have not seen you in a while will comment that your hair looks longer. The truth is that your hair is constantly growing every single day. And although the rate of growth is very slow, it is steadily gaining length all of the time. Getting braids and sew ins is a great way to help your hair grow.




Whether you like braids or you prefer a sew in, as long as they are installed properly they are a great way to get some noticeably significant growth. A typical sew in can last about three months which can yield about 1.5-2 inches of new growth!  The same for individual braids like box braids, knotless braids, and faux locs. Beware though, if your stylist places too much tension on your hair while installing, especially on your edges, it will create the reverse effect and can actually make your hair come out instead of grow. Things NOT to do when getting your weave services include:

  • Make sure they are not too tight!- I can not stress this enough. I have seen over and over again where a client has come to me whose edges are completely gone, yes I mean it is completely BALD right there! Don't be that client that has to learn the hard way.  If your stylist is putting your weave in or braiding your hair and it is too tight, speak up! Don't sit and say nothing then go home and start praying that they will loosen up soon without causing damage.
  • Keep the stress to a minimum- In this case I'm referring to stress on the hair follicle. Sometimes, especially if you are getting braids, they can be heavy.  If this is the case, particularly around the edges, this can also cause your edges to come out. Don't do this. Instead tell your stylist to make smaller braids around the edges so your hair can handle it.  
  • Keep them in too long- Trying to get every single penny's worth out of your braids is not a good idea.  I would recommend keeping braids and sew ins no longer than three months.  After that there is a good chance that your hair can start to get matted and even start to smell.  If your hair becomes matted it will more than likely have to be cut which is the exact opposite of what you want.
  • Neglect your hair- Just because you have a protective style does not mean that you should neglect taking care of your hair. There are a few things you should do (see video below). You should should still moisturize it with a leave in conditioner (like this one) and be sure to oil your scalp (preferably with this). If you plan on keeping your braids for more than two weeks you should shampoo and condition your hair (with these types of products) while your hair is still braided.
Now that we've seen what not to do, you can safely and confidently get your braids and weave expecting to see lots of growth when you take it down. Also if you put chemicals and/or heat in your hair on a regular basis wearing weave is a great way to give your hair a break from that. If you have relaxed hair, getting a protective style is also a great way to stretch your relaxer until it's time for your touch up. This is why I get braids at least once per year for a few weeks.



Remember, everything that we do to our hair should be healthy and help it improve. Anything that looks cute at the time but causes damage down the line should never even be considered. And as always, never use glue on your hair for any weave service.

If you decide to get braids, here is a video on how to take care of them while you have them in.


The Healthy Relaxed Hair Journal

Is Your Hair Always Dry?

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