Whenever you wash, style, or touch your hair, always be extremely gentle. Tugging, pulling, combing, brushing, or washing the hair roughly or rigorously can cause split-ends as well as damage to the scalp, so treat your hair as though it were fine antique lace. If your scalp feels any kind of discomfort or tension, you are probably causing some kind of damage to your hair follicles. The best thing that you can do for your hair is to practice using a more patient, soft, and sensitive touch every day.
Hair | Tips | washing
A braid-out 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. A braid-out is a healthful style choice for your hair, and it is easy to do. First, wash and condition your hair. Second, part your hair into sections (four sections will usually suffice, but you may want more depending on your preference--the smaller the braid, the tighter the wave pattern will be). Third, gently comb each section and then braid it. If your hair is prone to frizz, you may want to add a small amount of styling gel to each section before braiding. Remember not to braid 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 climate and hair texture, but thick hair usually takes at least 12 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 usually takes at least 60 to 90 minutes). After your hair is completely dry, unbraid each section and let the styling fun begin. Results will vary depending on texture, but you should have some luscious waves to work with--the possibilities are endless.
If you regularly use a lot of styling products such as gel, hairspray, cream, and pomade, remember to rinse your scalp everyday to avoid buildup and clogged pores. Slicking the hair down with heavy gels or applying too much pomade or grease to the scalp are just a couple of examples of how blockage at the mouth of the hair follicle can occur. Blockage can lead to scalp infection, damage and reduced hair growth, so it is important to wash your hair and scalp regularly. Keep your scalp pores clear, and try to use water-soluble styling products whenever possible.
Oils and dirt on unclean hair will cause the flat iron to singe and irreparably damage your tresses, so always make sure that your hair is freshly washed and conditioned before flat ironing or applying any kind of heated tool. Even touching up your hair with the flat iron the next day after washing is extremely risky and should be avoided.