Saturday, August 18, 2012
Hair addition prep 101
This is by request... the day before using the hair....first things first....prep the hair on your head...wash it, condition it, deep condition it, moisturize it.
If braiding singles or micros, or twists, you'll want to dry it in large sections like 4 large twists.
If blow drying...use a natural heat protectant...like grapeseed oil. You need to leave what ever heating implements under 450 degrees...the flashpoint of grapeseed oil. Most curling irons and blow dryers are less than that.
If you are cornrowing....for crochet braids...go by sensitivity....braid it wet knowing it will curl to a tighter braid upon drying....or if braids tend to bother you...braid it loosely but securely, once dry. Spraying with water once braiding is done will will tighten the braids nicely.
Now prep the hair to be added....open the packages. Remove and save the labels for storage and care instructions. Do not remove the binding band yet. Place a head band or string on a flat surface large enough to hold the full length of the hair. Ex: 20 inch hair....you need a surface that can acommodate 40 inches becuze the hair is pakaged with an elastic binding cord that is placed at the half length and the hair is folded over at that point. The hair is measured by "hanging length" so 20" is actually 40" long. Use the binding band to find the center and spread the hair out into its full length making sure the binding band is visible all the way around...any hair looping over...direct it to where its supposed to be...left or right of the binder. Lay the hair on the headband at the center binder...there should be enough room for a few more "ponytails" of hair. Repeat with the rest of the hair.
Once all the ponytails are spread out....use the headband as a tie loop....wrap around the ponytails leaving a loop to hold all of it for the dip.
Now get the largest bowl you own....or use a sink. Fill with enough water to cover the hair...pour about a cup of vinegar into the water. Holding the hair by the headband loop...lower the hair into the water. Fold it over if necessary. Press the hair down until the air bubbles stop. Place a heavy glass or ceramic plate on top to hold the hair down. Let this soak 15 mins to an hour. This removes the alkaline coating on commercial hair that's been know to irritate the scalp. It also removes and kills any creature that's been living in the store bought hair package that was stored in some warehouse after being made. Ex: dust mites, bugs, worms, and in rare occasions...bedbugs. Most quality hair doesn't have these issues but can't be too careful. Anything on the hair that doesn't belong will float to the top....and can be seen on the plate. If anything is seen.....make sure to rinse well and soak again. Then rinse the hair and lay over a towel. Roll the towel and press out any excess water. Hang by the loop to dry.
The next day...when ready to do your hair....take your moistrurizer and coat your hair and cover it with a bonnet or scarf for at least 15 mins.
If you arent used to long hair, or this is your first time...then rest the prepped hair on your head to see if you can deal....the first few days a ponytail may be a style option until you get used to it. Natural hair...can be heavy too (sythectic hair is heavier than human hair) but since hair grows gradually...the neck muscles have plenty of time to strength and adjust to the weight. When you add a bunch of hair "right now" the neck muscles react like "say what now?" The result will be pain. Avoid that by allowance....less hair, more time. Make additions grdually. If you are used to it....having worn long hair, or weaves, ponytails, etc....then you shouldnt have a problem.
Cutting: Ever notice folks attach hair...then cut it to the desired length and its on the ground to be swept away. I cut the hair before I use it then I only have to trim the hair....not cut off several inches to make a style. If you are going to cut the hair in half, ex: if you want to use 10 inches instead of the full length of 20. This allows you to use 2 packages for the whole head instead of 4 packages. Becuz the cut hair will make 4 bunches. Remove the headband loop, and cut each through the center of the binder. If you aren't cutting the hair...go to the next part.
Attach the hair in whatever manner you desire. Trim if needed. Wet the hair if desired, drip dry, then enjoy. Wash the hair, before removing and storing it. If you aren't reusing the hair...don't worry about it.
Storage: keep any hair not used, or being reused in a plastic bag....NOT the original packaging...which has air holes and allows critters to get in. Put the label for the hair in the bag with it. Press the bag to remove air and minmize its size, close and store in the freezer. This serves two purposes...it keeps critters out, kills lice, etc. And it keeps the hair clean...no need to resoak as there will be no dirt or dust.