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Hair | Tips | health

For a healthy style, try a two-strand twist set

A two-strand twist set is a healthy style choice for your hair.  Compared to a braid-out, it is easier to do, dries more quickly and is more gentle on the hair.  Unfortunately, the twists can come undone during rigorous activities or if you are a rough sleeper, so the braid-out may be a better choice for some.  To do, first wash and condition your hair.  Second, part your hair into sections (eight sections--four in the front and four in the back-- will usually suffice, but you may want more depending on your preference--the smaller the twist, the tighter the wave pattern will be).  Third, gently comb each section, separate it into two parts or strands and then twist.  If your hair is prone to frizz, you may want to add a small amount of styling gel to each section before twisting.  Remember not to twist your hair too tightly--you do not want to have any tension near the scalp.  For the safest and healthiest option, let your hair air-dry (time will vary depending on texture, but thick hair usually takes at least 8 hours).  If you don't have time to let your hair air-dry, you can use a blow-dryer with a diffuser or a hood dryer (time will vary depending on texture, but thick hair can take about 45 to 60 minutes).  After your hair is completely dry, untwist each section.  A two-strand twist set is a great way to add waves to straight hair or stretch and lengthen curly hair without using a heated styling tool, such as a curling iron or crimper.  Results will vary depending on texture, but you should have some luscious waves to work with--the possibilities are endless.

Hair and water--5 facts that you should know

Before you comb, style, or apply heat to your hair, here are 5 facts about hair and water that you should know:

1. Hair consists of 10 to 13 percent water, even when it is dry. 

2. Wet hair has 100 percent moisture level.

3. Hair can absorb 30 percent of its weight in water. 

4. Hair is more vulnerable when wet because the hydrogen bonds that reinforced it have been broken. 

5. Water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit.  

Blow dryers, curling irons, and hot rollers can reach up to 390 degrees, flatirons around 450 degrees, and pressing combs nearly 500 degrees.  In other words, heated styling tools can boil the water inside of your hair shaft, so use with caution.

Hair only absorbs what it needs

Layering or mixing hair conditioners and treatments can increase the variety of proteins, vitamins, and minerals that you infuse into your hair, thus improving its health, appearance and manageability.  Keep in mind that hair only absorbs what it needs and the rest of the nutrients will just sit on the surface of the hair shaft.  This is only a problem if buildup occurs and hair starts to look and feel brittle, stiff, limp, dry or dull.  If you are happy with the results, then your "special recipe" is probably working.

How to deep condition your hair

It is important to deep condition your hair once in awhile to keep it healthy, beautiful, and to help prevent future damage.  If your hair is dry or over-processed, deep conditioning can replenish the hair strength and moisturize.  To deep condition hair, apply a protein enriched conditioner from the roots to the ends.  Next, cover your hair with a plastic cap or plastic wrap and sit under a hood dryer for at least 20 to 30 minutes and then rinse your hair.  Heat is needed to help the conditioner penetrate the cuticle layers more efficiently.  For optimum health, deep condition your hair one to two times a month.