We're glad you found us here at
Treasured Locks. We sell the finest products available for black,
biracial, textured, curly, nappy and kinky hair. But, not only do
we sell products, we are experts on the subject based on our decades of
hands-on experience and extensive research. We feel that an
informed customer is a happy customer. So, while you're here
shopping for your products, we want to be sure you know how to use them
and how to determine which products are best for you.
Below you will find a few of the questions we get most often concerning
black hair care or African-American hair care. If you don't see
your question answered
feel free to e-mail us
and we will get an answer back to you as
possible. We have answered thousands of questions over the years.
American Hair or Black Hair is Structured Structure
You may find yourself asking just
what is different about my African-American hair?
Why is that black, biracial or other ethnic people need different
products and regimens than our Caucasian neighbors. The answer to
this question lies in how our African-American hair is put together or
structured. Essentially, all hair types are made of the same
"stuff". The difference, which as you know can be significant,
come from the way those components of the hair are assembled to make
the hair shaft itself. The way curly or kinky hair is put
together makes it more likely to be dry and/or to break. Because
of this difference black hair needs are different than the needs of
other types of hair. Black people's hair can have up to two times
the amount of cuticle, the scientific word for the outer layer of the
hair. The fact that African-American hair is kinkier makes it
physically more difficult for the natural oil (known as sebum) secreted
from our scalp to travel from the scalp along the length of the hair
It's important to keep in mind that there aren't two types of hair,
black hair and everybody else's. There is a broad spectrum of
hair types. Especially since most peopel in the United States who
identify as "black" are from a mixed racial background, African
American hair and bi-racial
people's hair varies tremendously. Even on one personsl head of
hair there can be many different hair types with straight hair on the
sides, thicker hair at the crown and curly hair at the back (asn an
example). When Brian was a boy with an afro, this variation drove
his barber crazy. The results of this wide range of hair types,
even among closely related family members is there is no one solution
for the care of all black people's hair. We have two daughters
and they each have a slightly different hair care routine.
Because African-American hair tends to be more coarse and to be thicker
you might be tempted to think it's "tougher" than Caucasian
hair and can handle more stress or abuse. It might surprise you
to learn that in reality African hair (especially if
treated like European hair) is usually more fragile than Caucasian
It usually lacks the elasticity of Caucasian hair and therefore
breaks more easily. If the hair is washed too often and with the
wrong products, the natural oils will be diminished. Because of
the kinkiness of the hair, combs and brushes can get caught in the
hair, breaking it at all of those twists and turns. For these reasons,
we suggest using products made especially
our hair, whenever possible. Today, there is a wide range of
excellent products made specifically for the needs of African American
or Textured hair.
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The major parts of a human hair are:
Cuticle: The cuticle is the shell or the outer layer
of the hair. The cuticle is composed of layers of scales. Those
scales are interwoven with the cells of the inner root sheath.
This firmly locks the hair in the follicle. made up of
layers of scales which interlock with the cells of the hair's inner
root sheath to firmly anchor it in the follicle. The cuticle is a
relativeoly thin layer. The cuticle is also colorless. But,
in black hair, the cuticle layer is often two times the thickness of
Caucasian hair. This is where the major difference between
African-American and other hair is found. Most conditioners
attempt to work on the cuticle layer. Differences in the
cuticle layer will make the hair appear smoother and shiner or rougher
and more dull.
Cortex: The cortex is the middle layer of a human hair.
The cortex is comprised of cells which are tightly attached wrapped
around one another. These bands provide the hair shaft with
elasticity and strength and are very receptive to chemicals. The
cortex is also where the color of the hair is found.
result, the cortex can easily be changed for good or for bad by
products like dyes and chemical relaxers.
Melanin: Melanin is found in the cortex of the hair
shaft. Melanins is the material that provides the color to
people's hair and to their skin. The more melanin that is present, the
the hair or skin.
Follicle: The follicle is the structure in which the
hair is formed. The hair fits into the follicle kind of like a
foot goes into a sock. Follicles are made of many elements including
carbon, hydrogen and oxygen (the basic building blocks of life).
To have healthy follicles, it's vitally important to get good
nutrition. You can't build a house without raw materials.
And, you can't built a healthy hair shaft without the basic building
blocks. Healthy amounts of certain nutrients can greatly
influence the appearance or your hair and skin. Hair growth
supplements can be extremely beneficial in improving the appearance of
your hair. No amount of product put on your hair can make up for
having weak hair to begin with.
Sebaceous/Sudoniferous Glands: Also on your scalp are the
sebaceous (oil) and sudoriferous (sweat) glands. The oil glands
periodically open and
close to release a waxy oil called sebum into the hair follicle and
onto the scalp. Jojoba oil is something in nature that naturally
and effectively imitates natural sebum. The sudoriferous or sweat
glands contain many small
structures. These sweat glands produce substances which dry on the
skin. These include salts, acids
and bacteria. If these are not removed from the scalp, they can help
cause problems including itching and dandruff.
This accounts for some of the scalp issues people have when first
starting to lock their hair when they are not washing the scalp
routinely and effectively.
OK boys and girls, get ready for a
very quick review of your high school chemistry. Don't
worry. We'll keep it very short and it won't hurt a bit.
This is important to know when you're looking at those "natural"
relaxers on the market.
How reactive or dangerous certain chemical are can be measured on pH
scale. It doesn't matter what pH stand for. The pH scale goes
from 0-14. Water is right in the middle of the scale with a pH of
7. Water is considered neutral as it is neither acidic or basic
(alkaline). Solutions with a very high pH are referred to
as being alkaline,
or basic. Solutions with a very low pH are called acidic. The
further the pH is from the neutral 7 (either high or low), the more
powerful the solution is in terms of reacting. Think of reacting
in this case of burning or of breaking something down. The pH scale
logarithmic scale. A logarithmic scale is a way of measuring things
where a whole number difference is a lot more thn on a normal (linear)
scale. A solution that has pH of 8 is
times more alkaline than a solution that is ph 7. Something with
pH of 5 is 100 times more acidic than a pH 7. That's it. Lesson
over. You can close your notebooks now.
Most boxed relaxers or the ones your beautician uses have a high pH
(very near the top of the
In other words, they are caustic. Most relaxers work in the
same way a drain opener you'd buy at your local hardware store.
Relaxers break the hair down. Of course, this is done in a
controlled fashion when done by a licensed professional. But,
it's important to know that permanent relaxers work
they break the bonds that actually give strength to the hair.
This causes the hair to straighten. Those bonds will never be
repaired (the new growth will have new bonds). Therefore,
is, by definition, weaker than natural hair. Relaxers also can
tend to deplete the hair of sebum (the oil your scalp secretes).
If you mix that with heat (think a daily curling iron) you you could
really end up damaging your hair severely.
That's why it is extremely important to be cautious when putting in
relaxers. And, while you might wanto think of relaxed hair as
carefree wash and go hair, it's important to be diligent about
maintaining relaxed hair.
It might sounds as if we are somehow against perms. That is not
the case. It's quite possible to do more damage to your natural hair if
you decide you want to try to wear it straight all the time and are
hitting it with a lot of heat to get it that way. If straight hair is
very important to you, a relaxer might be the way to go. We do
recommend making sure you have used a good relaxer and we strongly
having it put in by a professional.
Just know that your hair will be weaker than it would be if it were
natural and plan to maitain it properly.
We have been asked several times why we don't sell permanents and we've
been asked to recommend a particular perm. Because we think
relaxers should be applied by a professional, it conflicts with that
belief to sell them on our website. Relaxers should only be
applied to the new growth. Relaxers have to be neutralized
properly or the chemical process that breaks those bonds in your hair
can go on much longer than you planned. A home perm kit in the
wrong hands is dangerous to your hair and scalp.
Are no lye
relaxers better and/or milder?
If a lye relaxer is bad, then a
no-lye relaxer must be good. Right? Wrong. There is a
myth (perpetuated by certain makers of no-lye relaxer) that no-lye
take all the
worry out of chemically straightening your hair. Please forgive
us for the bad pun. But, that is a lie. (lye). It is true
that no-lye relaxers are more gentle on the
But, that doesn't mean they are harmless. The Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) has gotten numerous
complaints of scalp irritation about no-lye relaxer products.
Similar safety warnings are given for both types of products. And, they
are applied in the same way. What makes a lye relaxer a lye
relaxer is sodium hydroxide (NaOH). What no-lye relaxers do is
substitute another caustic substacne like calcium hydroxide (CaOH)
combined wtih guanidine carbonate to
produce guanidine hydroxide. The calcium in these products has
the potential to build up on the hair and scalp causing more problems
than the product solves. It's the hydroxide (OH in the
relaxerthat makes it. And, the way they work is pretty much the
same. We are aware of a great number of people who have said
their hair is more dull using a no-lye relaxer and have gone back to
the sodium hydroxide based one. There are hairdressers who have
spoken out against these relaxers. So, if you're having problems
with scalp irritation, you might want to try a no-lye relaxer. It
might help. But, don't get them thinking they are better
for your hair.
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How about natural
Ah there it is again. That word "natural". We love
it. Natural is good. And, we hate it. The word is so
abused and overused as to be almost meaningless. There are so many
companies now taking
advantage of the thirst for natural products . Now there are companies
putting products on the market that they're calling "natural
relaxers". As of the writing of this document, after 9 years of
research, we haven't found a single product we think most of our
customers would consider to be "natural" that will permanently alter
the texture of your hair. But, you might want to keep reading
because what is natural is debatable.
Let's begin with discussing what a chemical relaxer is. Lye could
be considered to be a natural product. If you burn wood and mix
it with water, wait long enough and then boil the water out, you'll end
up with lye (potassium hydroxide), this is very similar to the lye used
in relaxers (calcium hydroxide). Most people however, would not
call lye natural because it is so caustic. It'll eat a hole in
your skin and burn all of your hair off if not handled properly.
So, if I made up a relaxer out of this type of lye, would you consider
it "natural"? Would you want to apply it at home?
We won't speak about specific products. But, more than one of these
"natural relaxers" has been pulled from the market after complaints
about the dangers of them. Others won't divulge their ingredient
or use terms we can't understand. Their application instructions
and claims for what their products do seem way too similar to the way
chemical perms work for our comfort. After
doing years of research, we haven't found one that claims to permanently
(or temporarily) straighten
hair that we are
willing to sell to our customers.
We have found a product that makes the hair softer, more mangeable and
loosens the curl pattern- temporarily, that we can highly recommend.
That product is the Natural-Laxer
Beauty Products. Don't let "laxer" in the name fool
you. We think there are two reasons why natural relaxers
have gotten a bad rap. The truly natural, gentle one do not straighten
hair. When clients call us looking for a natural product to straighten
their hair, we do not recommend Natural-Laxer MIX (unless they are
willing to flat iron or press their hair). The "natural relaxers"
that do straighten
hair are often just as chemically reactive as the "chemical" products
supposed to be replacing.
The natural relaxer we sell is an all herbal hair treatment.
is kind of an herbal texturizer. It is not
a straightener. You simply are not going to get kinky black
to become bone straight in an "all natural" way. What our
does is gradually allow the natural curl pattern to relax.
causes the hair to be less kinky and somewhat straighter. It
the hair softer. Some interesting side effects of this
that you end up
with less tangles, less breakage and the hair is actually strengthened
and encouraged to grow by the relaxer. The relaxer also helps
reversion of pressed hair. The relaxer works with a
After the first application or two, the differences will be
but noticeable. Over time, the relaxer makes the hair softer
softer. This is an excellent treatment for damaged permed
aid in transition from perms to natural hair or a conditioner/detangler
for natural hair.
do I look
for in a beautician to put in my
It's extremely important to have a
stylist you can trust apply your relaxer. She can permanently damage
your hair if she doesn't know what she is doing. She could even
damage your scalp. We always (always, always, always) recommend
get a referral if you can. Don't pick your stylist out of the
Yellow Pages. If you know someone that has healthy looking permed
hair, ask her who her stylist is. Ask her if she's happy with the
health of her hair. If you're lucky, she might even let you touch
it. We recommend a conversation with the stylist before you make
your your appointment. Does she seem professional? Ask her
some questions. A relaxer gone wrong is something you do not want to
experience. Hair will grow back. But, it takes a long time.
Worse than damaged hair, a relaxer gone wrong could resulting in
and or permanent disfigurement. These chemicals are nothing to
mess around with.
Here is what you should look:
Before your stylist begins:
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- Your stylist should inspect your hair and scalp before she
begins to put in the relaxer. If your hair is weak or your scalp
has any cuts, scrapes or sores, she should not do the perm. Of course,
you should do this yourself before you go to the shop. But, a
professional stylist will take the time and care to do this
herself. A relaxer put on hair that is already damaged might be
just enough to cause it to completely break off. Chemicals
applied to open areas on the scalp can be extremely painful and cause
- If it's your first time with this particular relaxer, your
stylist should check for a possible allergic reaction. And she
should test the perm
strand of your hair
- Your stylist should get to know your hair type and recommend a
relaxer that is well-suited for your type of hair. Not all
relaxers are the same. Some
are more reactive (stronger) than others. Some of the things she
should consdier are whether you have virgin hair or if you're just in
for a touch up. She should look at whether your hair is fine or
coarse. And, she should consider other chemical treatments-
- She should protect your body and clothes by covering you with a
cape or a towel
- She should protect your scalp with a
jelly or thick cream. She should especially protect your hair line, and
your ears which will almost certainly get the perm on them.
Once she begins:
- This is really important. Applying a perm is not
something your stylist should do while she's doing several other
things. Once she starts putting on the chemicals, she should pay
attention to your head. She should not be distracted by phone
calls, other clients or going out to lunch (don't laugh, it
happens). Your stylist should work quickly and efficiently to
avoid over-relaxing your hair or burning your skin.
- Touch ups are called touch ups because they are done on the new
growth only. A professional will know this. But, this is a
common mistake people make when putting in home perms. It's
difficult to get the perm only on the new growth. But, its
necessary. When I was doing home perms myself, I'd put it on from
the roots all the way to the tips. It's a good thing I have pretty
- Your stylist should use a timer. Using a timer isn't the
same as paying attention to it though. She needs to stay near-by.
If you happen to hear the timer go off and she's not around, say
something. When it comes to relaxers, it's better to leave the
hair a little on the underprocessed side than to overstraighten
it. Many people end up trying to put some body or curl back into
the hair after they've made it bone straight with a relaxer.
Remember, the straighter the hair, the more bonds you've broken and the
weaker the hair.
After she's done:
- Your stylist should rinse your hair thoroughly with
- She should thoroughly wash your hair with a neutralizing shampoo.
It's critcally important to use a neutralizing shampoo. The
lower pH of the shampoo will stop the chemical reaction of the high pH
relaxer. If this process isnt' stopped, the relaxer will continue
to break down the hair after you and she thinks it has stopped.
- She should rinse your hair again.
- Before she dries your hair, your hair should be deep
- She should handle your hair gently as she's drying and
I remove a
relaxer from my hair? Can I make my permed hair natural again?
Unfortunately the answer is no.
Transitioning from relaxed hair to permed hair is a process. That
you're willing to simply cut off the relaxed hair. When a
applied, a permanent change is made because chemical bonds in the
cortex are broken. The particular piece of that hair shaft that
has been chemically treated will never be the same. The new
growth will be natural, even on the same hair shaft. This is what
leads so often to breakage during the transitioning process. The
new growth is of a very different texture than the part of the hair
that has been treated. Once the hair has has lived through its
life cycle it will be shed. The
replacement hair will be natural.
What are the
hair care basics?
Many people seem to think of their
hair as almost indestructible. We treat it with chemicals, we
towel dry roughly, we blast it with heat. We pull it up in
ponytails (every single day). We'd like to suggest you start to
think of your hair
more like a collection of delibate fibers. If you had an
expensive silk blouse, how would you treat it? Your hair, while
pretty resilient is not indestructible and treating it gently will pay
off. Black hair will tend to be more dry. And, it is easier
to break. For natural black hair, the places where the hair
coils, curls and twists are
also points where the hair tends to break. The more of these
points (as in African hair), the more the hair is prone to
breakage. Also, because our hair is kinky, it tends
tangle more and pulling these tangles out can cause breakage. If
you have put a perm in your
hair, you've fundamentally altered the structure of the hair making it
a little less strong.
- Before going to bed, section off your hair and put a few plaits
in it. Or, tie it back or wrap it up using a scarf. By
tying your hair down you will reduce the amount of tangles you have to
comb out the next morning. Less tangles=less breakage.
- Bedding is important. If you can get a satin pillow case
(we sell one here), that's great. At a minimum, sleep with a
satin scarf or sleep cap. The satin material is smoother than
cotton and will absorb less moisture from your hair. This helps
avoid the damage that the friction from cotton pillow cases can cause.
- Washing your hair too often is probably worse than not washing it
often enough. How often you'll have to wash your hair will depend on
how much sebum you produce, how much you sweat, your hair type, the
climate where you live, etc. But, as a rule-of-thumb, wash your
hair no more than once every week ro weeek and a half. Some
people will need more, some will need less. Start with a week and
see how that works for you.
- Comb your hair out while you've got the conditioner in it.
This will help remove the tangles while your hair is slick helping the
comb glide thorugh with minimal breakage.
- Oil/moisturize your scalp on a regular basis
with a good natural oil. We have several including some with Shea
Butter, Argan Oil, Emu Oil and Jojoba Oil, our favorites! A daily
moisturizer is a good idea for a lot of people. Maybe not
necessarily daily, but every couple of days.
- Deep conditioner or do a hot oil treatment monthly. Using a
conditioning cap like the Hair Therapy Wrap will help drive the
conditioner deep into the hair shaft.
- Regularly take your fingers and just give yourself a little scalp
massage. This will help improve your scalp's ciruclation and oil
- Stay away from products with mineral oil or petroleum. These are
cheap fillers used by some cosmetics companies. They give the
feeling of oils that would be beneficial But, they tend to clog
the pores (are comedogenic). And, they are not easily absorbed by
the hair or skin. This is a case where it's best to stick with
natural oils. If your mother used Vaseline®
on your hair, stop. If you're using that pink stuff. Well,
you might want to reconsider. Natural oils tend to cost
more. But, they are most definitely worth it. Your hair and
skin will thank you.
- If you exercise and sweat a lot on a regular basis, the salt out
of your hair
if you don't wash it. Rinse it thoroughly with very warm water
and condition it with a leave-in conditioner.
- Heat can be a killer for hair. We blast our hair regularly
with temperatures that would bake a roast. Avoid excessive use of
your hair. This is particularly important for those women with
relaxers. Do not take your hair to bone straight at the
hairdressers and then have to use a lot of heat and product to get it
to hold curl when you're back home. Stop short of bone straight.
- Avoid alcohol based products unless you have a need for a
water-free shampoo to cleanse your scalp (for example while you're
waiting for your locks to lock). Having said that, not all
alcohol is bad. Ethyl and methyl alcohols are two you generally
want to steer clear of.
- This is tough for some of us. Keep in mind that water is
your friend. Water, inside and out is good for your hair and
skin. Drink plenty of water daily. Spritzing your hair with
water or water based products can help keep it hydrated.
- Your hair doesn't begin at your scalp. For proper hair formation,
its' important you give your hair the right nutrition so that the shaft
that is formed in the follicle is health before it even appears above
the surfcace or your skin. Eat a well-balanced diet with vitamins
that proteins that are essential for hair and skin development.
Treasured Locks offers nutritional supplements specifically
designed for hair and skin health. Hair
- So many of us fight our hair. Try to work with what you've
got. We constantly have clients telling us they want hair just
like this or that celebrity (and many of the celebrities they want to
look like are sporting weaves). As much as you can, find a style
that is compatible with your natural hair type and the way your hair
grows. We all want to style our hair. But, the more you can
go with the flow, the happier your hair and you will be.
Some tools you should have in your kit
- A great moisturizing shampoo: The good shampoos will cost
more. However, the better shampoos use more gentle cleansers and
are generally more concentrated. You might find they actually
save you money over the course of time. But, you will find that
your hair will quickly look and feel better.
- A great conditioner that has a fairly low pH.
A lower pH
conditioner (lower than 7) will be pH balanced to slightly acidify the
hair. Acidifying the hair will make it shine more and reduce
- A good deep conditioning treatment or a hot oil
you like. This is really enhanced with the use of
conditioning heat cap which opens up the cutilcles and drives the
treament deep into the hair shft. This is especially critical for
hair that has been damaged by neglect, abuse, heat, sun and/or
chemicals. We have several here: Hair
- A leave in conditioner or a product you can use to
frequently. This is what you're going ot use on your hair after
you've cleaned it and between washings. This product should
provide moisture at a minimum and preferably oil and moisture.
- A comb that works for your hair type. So much damage is
done by trying to drag some skinny toothed combed through naturally
curly hair. The more coarse and/or thicker your hair, the more
you'll need a comb with wider spaced teeth.
- A satin pillow case, a good
satin or nylon scarf or cap or wrap
to wear while you're sleeping.
do I deep
condition my hair?
A good hot oil treatment
conditioner is essential. Hair
Apply the conditioner or hot oil treatment
the hair and scalp, cover with a plastic cap and sit under a dryer for
15-20 minutes. Alternatively, you can wrap your head in a
Then wash the hair thoroughly. This is very
important for dry brittle hair.
Which oils should
I use (and avoid)?
Using oils, pomades, daily
leave-in conditioner and creams will
make the hair softer and increase flexibility. This is a way to
prevent breakage. These products are of particular benefit to
relaxed hair as we've mentioned. Mineral oil and petroleum based
oils should be used sparingly. Or, better yet, not at all. These
ingredients make products that clog the pores, aren't easily asborbed
and in fact attract dust. However, we realize these products are
cheap and no one has an unlimited budget. If you do have to use
products with mineral oil, try to use the ones that have the least
amount. If the ingredient list is written correctly, the later in
the list the ingredient comes, the less there will be of that
ingredient. So, use products where the bad stuff is near the end.
A few natural oils to try are shea butter, jojoba oil, olive oil, emu
oil, argan oil and sunflower oil. There are many others.
Some of these oils are quite expensive costing upwards of
$200/gallon. But, it's not necessary to use them in their pure
form. We have a great selection of elixirs, oils,
that work wonderfully for every hair type and
It's best to put these oils on your hair when it's wet. That will hold
in the moisture that is already there on the hair shaft.
Using a leave-in conditioner or moisturizing cream (containing both
water and oil) are useful on days when you do not wash your hair.
The best type of oil or cream you
in your hair is will depend on your hair type. It will be
necessary for you to experiment to find what works best for your
hair. Your climate, which may change with the time of the year,
will also effect how you treat your hair. You might find your
hair likes some things better in the summer and others in the
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often should I
wash my hair?
How often you should wash your hair
will vary greatly from person to person. Your hair type will
impact this. Does your hair tend to get oily? If so, you'll have
to wash more often. Does your hair tend to dry out? If so,
you might want to wash less often. Do you work out a lot
(sweat)? What type of climate do you live in? Are you in
conditions where there's a lot of dirt in the air? All of these
factors will play into how often you have to wash your hair. In
general, black hair tends to be more dry than other hair types and will
need to be washed less often. Even if there are factors that
cause you to rinse more often (like swimming), you might want to
consider simply rinsing and conditioning rather than applying shampoo
every time. A good rule of thumb is to start with weekly washings
and move up or down from there as you see how your hair reacts.
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do I handle
If your hair is very curly, kinky
and/or coarse, it's better to handle your hair while it is still wet or
at least damp. You will probably find it is most easy to comb
through while you're in the shower, using a wide tooth comb. If
you comb while your hair while it's dry, you might find the comb
catching on the kinks in the hair and breaking it off. Using a
leave in conditioner or "comb out" product is helpful for a lot of
Why is my natural hair
so dull looking?
Wow, if only we had a dollar for every time we've been asked this
question. It's a great one and one that many people are curious
about. The big thing here iwe have to think about what we are
expecting and we we are comparin our hair to when we call it
"dull". When natural African-American hair is compared to
Caucasian hair or even to permed Black hair, it will be less
shiny. The reaons is because of the way the hair is actually
structured. When the cells that make up the cuticle of the hair
lay flat, the hair better reflects light making it smoother and
shinier. Actually conditioner is great at helping with
this. But, in the case of natural Black hair, the cutilcles to
not lay as flat and do not reflect light as well. If you continue
to try to make natural African-American hair look like Caucasian hair
by adding oil or grease to it, you're going to cause problems.
The best thing to do is to make your hair look the best it can look,
not look like someone else's.
That is not to say that natural hair cannot look beautiful and
healthy. Both of our girls are complimented on their natural hair
constantly. I swell up with pride when I take them to have their
hair done (occasionally) and the beautician comments on the health of
their hair. People comment on how healthy their hair looks.
My secret is I make sure their hair is always well hydrated and I use
great natural oils on their hair- Treasured Locks products. There
are so many girls and women out there with hair that is breaking off
and looks just lifeless and the answer is so very simple that it's a
hair is beautiful. But, it does take a little work and a lot of
understanding to keep it that way.
do I care for relaxed hair?
The most important thing is to make
sure you have a reliable stylist that you have confidence in. If
you do home perms, make sure you follow all of the direction to the
letter. If you're doing a touch up, make sure you only apply the
relaxer to the new growth. If you can't afford to go to a stylist, you
might want to check out a local beauty school where the student will be
supervised by a licensed stylist and you can save quite a bit of money.
So now that the relaxer has been applied properly, here are some other
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- It's best to dry your gradually. Use
a little heat as possible. When I had my perm I would allow a
couple of hours for washing my hair. I would wash it and just
towel dry it, making sure to blot it rather than rubbing
vigorously. I wouuld then apply a hair and scalp oil. The next
step was a couple of hours to just watch TV or relax around the house
letting the air dry it. Then and only then, after my hair had
gone from wet to just damp, I would blow dry it the rest of the way and
begin the process of conditioning and styling.
- Wet your hair frequently. Spraying it with water or
while you are showering works. Doing this a couple of times a
week gives your hair the chance to absorb some moisture.
- In adddition to wetting your hair with water, use a leave-in
conditioner or another moisturizing products. This is really
important for relaxed hair which tends to need to have more oil added
than does natural hair.
- When you to go have your perm applied have your stylist check
to see if your ends need to be trimmed. Damaged split ends can
split further up the hair shaft causing more damge and tangled hair.
You may be reluctant to have your hair "trimmed" thinking you're losing
length. But, the opposite can be true. Trying to hold onto
damaged ends can actually cause your hair to break and you'll end up
with shorter hair than if you trimmed. If your hair has been damaged on
the ends, let the damaged hair go in order to protect the still healthy
- You'll need to determine how
often you need a touch up. Some people will need to go back as
soon as 4-6 weeks. Some people only get a relaxer every three months or
even less. Two months is probably pretty typical.
I go relaxed or natural?
Oh boy! We don't shy away from
controversy. But, we're not about to try to tell you that you need to
go natural. When we started Treasured Locks, I had permed
hair. A couple of years later I made the decision to go
natural. From the start I did have clients pressuring me to go
But, what someone does with her hair is up to her and she has to decide
when she's ready to go natural (if ever). What we will do is give
you information so that you can make the best decision for you.
We encourage you to not
go natural to please those who think that wearing a perm is somehow
selling out or is a sign of low self-esteem. But, we would also
suggest you not wear a perm because going natural is somehow a militant
political statement. But, if you go natural, be prepared that
there will be people who assume things about your thoughts on political
and social issues. And, if you continue to wear a relaxer there
will be women (and men) will assume you're no confident about yourself.
Permed Hair (alsso known as Relaxed)
- Pretty much the standard in most of the United States
- Permed hair styles easily
- Relaxers are hard on African-American hair. They work by
weakening the bonds in the cortex and therefore, weaken the hair.
- In spite of the appeal of "wash and go" hair, actually requires
pretty diligent care to maintain a healthy head of hair.
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- Closest to what our body was designed to have
- Some wear certain styles because of religion.
Dreadlocks for example. Some wear those styles to make a a
political statement. Be aware you might have to fight this
- Has actually caused some people to lose
their jobs. There was a man terminated for wearing locks and, this was
upheld in court. We have heard of a woman fired for wearing two
- Wearing natural hair may demand that you be willing to
stand up for yourself in order to deal with the looks you'll get and
the comments people will make.
- Generally natural hair is
better for the health and strength of the hair. An exception
would be the woman who wears her hair "natural" but straight all the
time and inflicts major heat damage on it.
- Natural hair is easier to keep healthy than permed hair.
hair is often harder to style than permed hair. Some women
complain of not enough styling options. Styling options are
opened up though if you're wiling to straighten the hair (with heat).
transition from relaxed to
This is one of our most frequently
asked questions. Almost daily we get calls calls and emails from
women hoping we will tell them of a fast, simple way to get from their
relaxer to back to their natural hair. Unfortunately, there is no
way to do this. That is the reason people should really think
long and hard
before getting their first relaxer. We cannot tell you how many
mothers have contacted us regretting relaxer their daughters' hair and
wanting to "take it back". It breaks our hearts when this happens
because once that relaxer is in, it's too late.
There is not a product that will "remove" a relaxer. Some women decide
they are just going to try to stop getting perms and keep their same
style as long as possible. If you decide to do that, be aware
that you are probably going to see a significant amount of breaking of
the hair a couple of months into the process. Baka Beautiful's Natural-Laxer
is a great product if you want to maintain the length of your hair
whiletransitioning. The use of the product will not guarantee no
But, Natural-Laxer MIX will reduce the amount of breakage
you will see. Basically, there are three healthy ways to
transition from relaxed to natural hair:
- Trim (cut) the permed hair- At some point you're going to
have to cut that relaxed hair. Some women decide to just get it
over with. The amount of new growth you have will be the biggest
factor in how many styling options you are presented with once you've
done the "big chop". Many women will rock a TWA (teeny-weeny
afro) for a few months. Two-strands twists can be done on hair as
short as just over an inch (depending on your skill).
- You can wear braids-
Many women go this route and it's not a bad one. I did it.
You can have hair added to your natural hair until your hair grows out
to a length you feel comfortable with. I did both braids and
weaves while transitioning. I actually did that after doing the
Big Chop. I just didn't like the TWA on me.
SisterLocks can be started
with one and one half inches of new growth at the scalp. They
similar to dread locks but with a look more like micro braids or very
small twists. They leave you with many styling options.
more information (including pictures) go to http://www.sisterlocks.com
- Look at Natural Hair Transitioning Styles-We
have a whole page of natural hair transitioning styles. A
client sent us this tip "I wanted to send you another natural hair
transitioning option for women who don't know what to do. When I
was growing out of my relaxer, I did this. As my roots grew out,
I would wet my hair adding oil to it and braiding it while it was still
wet. (actually a product like Black Earth's Crinkles & Curls
or Treasured Locks Pomade and Gel would work for this). After it
dried, I would remove the braids and my hair was left wavy and with a
great deal of texture. This helped cover up the different in
texture between the roots and the permed ends. I did this until I
felt I was ready to remove the relaxed hair and wear my little 'fro."
Finally, trying to make the switch
other ways can be harmful and defeat one of the reasons many women
switch in the first place. Pressing the natural hair as it grows
in underneath the relaxed hair (without doing anything else) may cause
heat damage and even more breakage than you'd see otherwise. When
you're transitoning, try to find a style that will incorporate the new
growth into your permed hair without overprocessing the new growth.
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Is there a pill to
fix my hair problems?
We know, silly question. But,
we do all want a quick fix. Often hair problems are
complex. They can result from poor diet, stress, neglect, hair
abuse (heat and chemicals, hormone imbalances, drugs and more. To
get the most health hair, use our guidelines and develop a routine that
works for you. But, while we're on the subject of pills, the
right nutrition is very important for great hair (and skin). We
offer a line of hair growth supplments that provides the proteins and
other nutrients necesssary to have fantastic hair and skin. Many
of our clients notice an almost immediate improvement in their skin and
nails and within a month or so, better hair. See our Hair
But, there is no pill
that will overcome the damage that can be done to hair by abusing or
neglecting it. Taking the best possible
care of your hair is the primary way of making sure it'll be the way
you want it. Be aware of promises of quick fixes. There are
not any magic potions you can rub on or pills you can take that will
undo all of the problems you might have. Be prepared to be
disciplined, develop a health hair regimen and stick to it over the
course of weeks, months and years to get the locks you've always wanted.
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that will make my hair grow
Closely related to the question above
is this question. In addition to beautiful hair, most women want
long hair and they want it now. This seems to be especially true of
African-American women who have suffered so much frustration with
getting their hair long due to breakage. We need to keep a few
things in mind. First, there is a limit as to how long your hair will
get. This limit is different for every person and results from the fact
that hair only grows at a certain rate (usually about 1/2" a month) for
a certain amount of time. Your hair has a life cycle and once it
go through a growth and a rest phase, it's designed to be shed (fall
out). The hair is then replaced. But, if you do the math,
the growth of the hair per month times the months of the life cycle of
your hair, you'll see that your hair can really only get so long.
There are ways to make sure your body achieves its maximum growth rate
for your hair. There are medications
that will make
your hair grow thicker and fuller. For men, there is Minoxidil
(also known as
and Propecia®. For women, there is Rogaine.
also supplements that can help with making your hair grow faster (see
the link above for
our Hair Growth Supplements). If your hair is damaged, you are
not getting the best possible nutrition or if there is a scalp
condition that has not been treated, there are ways to alleviate these
problems getting you back to normal hair growth.
If your hair is breakng off (which is not the same as the natural
shedding of hair), it may appear that your hair is not growing.
Most people who think their hair is not growing are actually mistaken.
The hair is growing. It's just breaking off as fast or faster than it
is growting. Simply by stopping the breakage, your hair will get
longer, naturally. Before you spend a lot of time or effort on
trying to improve your growth rate, be sure you're doing all of the
things to stop any breakage you may be experiencing.
Locks H2G Hair Growth Serum
is a great product that can help with hair growth, naturally. It
doesn't contain any drugs or chemicals. It is simply a blend of
Emu Oil, Shea Butter Oil and other plant
oils, along with Essential Oils that have been clinically shown to
improve circulation, provide moisture, reduce inflammation and help
hair grow to its fullest potential. See our Hair
for more information.
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do I care for
my child's hair?
After the age of somewhere around two
years old, hair care for children is pretty much the same as hair care
for adults- at least the same basic things apply.
Children's skin and hair until they are teens does tend to be more
sensitive than adults. So, there are certain products you should not
use on children. If your child is very young, find a good shampoo
that won't sting her eyes. We sell one called KayShay Kids
Shampoo that is wonderful and non-drying. But, generally, we
recommend that you get away from baby shampoos as soon as possible
because most of the ones on the market are terrible for
I recommend that you keep away from relaxers for a long as possible.
Children's more sensitive skin is more susceptible with problems from
the harsh chemicals. perms for as long as possible. Children have
more sensitive skin than
adults. Also, children aren't usually great at sitting for long
periods of time. That can cause the stylist to rush or maybe even
skin steps causing problems. My stylist
me the story of a three year old girl she was trying to give a perm.
Once the perm was in, the child decided she was ready to
The stylist had to literally wrestle the child to rinse the
out of her hair. When we started Treasured Locks my older
daughter was about five. She's going to be a sohphomore in high school
this year. She has
thick and coarse hair. Her hair is still natural and she likes it
that way. I did a
research on the best way to care for it (one of the things that
me to open this store). Caring for her hair is is not any
more difficult to than
if she had a perm. I use Natural-Laxer MIX on it
occasionally. Sometimes she has it braided. That and just
above have made caring for her natural a breeze. Since I got
serious about her hair routine, she has less
and tangles than she used to and we love the way her hair looks
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I use only "natural" products?
Whether or not you should use all
"natural" products is really a matter of personal preference.
Again, we're not here to make decisions for anyone. But, we can help
inform you so that you can make the best decision. The first
thing we'd like to say is the term "natural" is relative and
subjective. When we say that "natural" is relative, we mean that
once any two ingredients are mixed together something is not as
"natural" as something else with only one ingredient. When does a
natural product become "not natural". Is is when there is a
chemical reaction? Some companies are using deception terms like
"grapefruit seed extract" to describe something that is "derived" from
grapefruit seeds. But, sodium laurel sulfate is "derived" from
coconuts. And, lye can be "derived" from natural wood
ash. Rather than just claiming our products are natural, we give
you the ingredients list and allow you to decide for yourself.
So, once you define what natural is. Is natural always
better? We are of belief that God put many wonderful things on
this planet for our use. And, usually, the more natural, the
better. We'd say that almost all of othe time, the less
refined or chemically engineered a product is the better it is.
But, we also believe that human beings are extremely clever and that we
have the ability to improve on some things and create others.
All things being equal, we like to use more natural products.
Even when our engineers try to duplicate what nature has already
done, we end up not able to recreate the delicate trace
substances. For example, take a multivitamin is not as good as
eating fresh fruit. It's good. But, not as good. But, all
natural cosmetics will be less stable on the shelf, their appearance
might not be as appealing and they are often more expensive.
Shampoos might be thinner or cloudier or separate. Natural
shampoos usually will not lather as well and some people don't like
that. The decision is yours and you'll need to make it in on a
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It's hard to believe it's been almost
10 years since we discovered Shea Butter. Back then, almost no
one knew what Shea Butter was. Since then, so many manufacturers
have jumped on the bandwagon and are throwing a litte Shea Butter into
to their products. Shea Butter is a natural solid (at room
temperature) plant based oil that is extracted from the nut of the
Karite tree. That tree grows in Africa. Most Shea is from West
African (Ghana). Shea Butter is wonderful for treating conditions
of the skin and hair including eczema, psoriasis, dry skin and stretch
marks. We know more than one person who accidentally discovered
it helps with mild sun allergies (bumps and rashes caused by the sun),
we assume because of it natural (slight) sunblocking ability. For
more details, see http://www.treasuredlocks.com/shebutben.html
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can I regrow
Determing how to regrow lost hair
will depend on what caused you to lose the hair in the first
place. Hair can be lost from the scalp (shedding) or hair can
break further up the hair shaft. One thing we can tell you is do
not go for any miracle cures. Nothing can cure any hair loss for
any reason. Anyone claiming they have a product that can do that
is worthy of your skepticism. Our Hair
are very effective for a variety of types
hair loss. However, they will not cure male pattern baldness, for
If you're a man who has lost his hair due to the male pattern
baldness, you should know that this is a natural thing and one that is
not easily reversed. The exact mechanism of how this happens is
not fully understood. But, it has to do with how your hair follicles
react to testosterone. Most simple treatments will not work,
particularly if your hair loss happened a while ago. There
are two well known proven
One is Finasteride (marketed as Propecia). Propecia was
originally developed as a blood
pressure medication. One of its side effects is it actually helps
with the regrowth of hair.
other is Minoxidil. Both work in about 30-40% of cases.
Both work pretty much only on thinning from the
crown of the head. Minoxidil has worked, in combination with
other treatments, on frontal balding. But, not often enough
the FDA to allow the manufacturer to make the claim. Both are
treatments, not cures. If you stop taking the drug, the effects
wear off and you lose the hair again. Both are drugs with side
effects. Propecia has been reported to cause sexual
in a small
number of patients. Minoxidil has been reported to cause some
irritation. Minoxidil must be put on the scalpe every day (twice
directly to the scalp and massaged in. Due to the hassle,
possible side effects and limited effectiveness of both drugs whether
you take them is a personal choice. If you ever see my
you'll see he opted to let nature take its course.
We also sell a few cosmeceutical grade hair loss treatments from DS
Laboratories (some containing Minoxidil) and from Pure Guild
These are products that also been shown to be effective in the
treatment of hair loss.
Where can I find
some good hair styles for me?
should I avoid?
This is a source of so much
controversy. One of the problems with any ingredients to avoid
list is whoever is presenting it usually has some agenda. It's
very difficult to find an objective source. Manufacturers using
questionable ingredients want to convince you they're safe because they
are often less expensive, if not downright cheap. And, they have
usually been used for years or decades. Manufacturers of
alternative- natural or organic products want to convince you these
ingredients are dangerous so they can sell you their products which are
almost always more expensive. There are many
avoid" lists that have been published. Instead of repeating those
lists, we want to give you something to think about as you read them
check our products, you'll find that some of the products we sell
contain some of the ingredients listed here. You might ask
yourself "Why?" In many cases there aren't great alternatives
yet. In some cases, these ingredients aren't necessarily
dangerous- especially to the general population. There are
not a lot of products that do not contain at least some of these
ingredients. In recent years, parabens have been getting a bad name and
we've found manufacturers gradually moving away from this. A few
years ago it was estimated that over 98% of cosmetic products contained
some form of paraben. Paraben free alternatives are growing
daily. But, if you take a look at your toothpaste or deodorant
label, it's very likely they still have some form of paraben in
them. People have been using parabens for decades.
In addition to the alternative products being hard to find and
expensive, you may find they have a shorter shelf life. Choices
are limited. While researching this topic, we ran across a
website that would scare you off of the vast majority of products in
the marketplace. Their list of harmful ingredients read like a
glossary of every mainstream cosmetic ingredient that exists.
OK. Fine. Let's look at their "What should I use instead?"
page. They had very few alternatives leaving gaping holes in what
you're supposed to use. Our philosophy is to avoid the most
harmful of these ingredients altogether and to minimize exposure where
possible. But, we continue to use a great deal of mainstream products
when it comes to things like toothpaste, deodorant, etc. We feel
the risks are small and the price, convenience and the fact that the
products just work are important to us.
As you read the various lists, be wary of who is listing the
ingredients and why. If
you find you are having some of the symptoms listed on the various
lists, you will
want to take note. Some people are more sensitive to these ingredients
than others. What may cause no reaction in one person can cause
even life threatening reactions in others. If you're having any
of these issues, you might want to check the ingredients on your
household products. Several years ago I saw a story about a woman
whose son had been having issues for years. Not minor issues,
things that were actully putting his life at risk. She had been
to doctor after doctor withno answers. Finally, she started
keeping a journal about when his symptoms flared. To her
surprise, Tuesday was his worst day. What was it about
Tuesday? Well, on Monday she cleaned her house. She tossed
out all of the grocery store products she had been buying and switched
to all natural alternative products. Not too long after that, her
son's symptoms went away. This is an extreme and rare case.
But, it shows the importance of being aware.
If you're have a lot of allergies, you will probably want to really
check over these lists. Your body is more reactive to foreign
substances than others. So, these ingredients are more likely to cause
a reaction in you. If you have children, you should be more
cautious because children often are more susceptible to these
ingredients. Pregnant women should be cautious.
Keep in mind that the the reactions listed
chemicals are typically the reactions of people who are highly
sensitive or are
highly concentrated doses.
that will cause no reaction on normal people, in concentrations found
in products may cause reactions in very sensitive people or even in
normal people, at high concentrations. For example, it's been reported
that sodium laurel sulfate causes skin irritation. That's true.
In high concentrations and when left on the skin. But, most
products containing this ingredient are intended to be rinsed
off. And, many manufacturers use it in low concentrations.
ingredients are in
the products you use, you want them to be near the end of the listing
of the ingredients.
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