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BRAIDS

Straight talk about braids

Braids have come a long way from tradition to an elaborate art form. This old time tradition has evolved into a multi-million dollar business. Salons specializing in braids and weaves appear to have popped up overnight. This new talent is highly respected. However, there are concerns and problems caused by going to a stylist not specialized in this field. Before making an appointment, insist on having a consultation with your stylist. Hair braiding can take anywhere from 3 to 10 hours, and therefore is costly. You need to be sure that this is something for you.

Whenever you are considering a new hair service it is important to meet with the stylist of your choice for a consultation. Once you have decided on a service, in this case braids or weaves. The stylist should discuss the pros and cons of this service and should explain how to maintain your new look and the cost involved. Most importantly, the stylist should examine your hair to determine such things as texture, porosity and most importantly the hairs elasticity.

Elasticity is one of the most important properties of hair when considering braids or weaves. Elasticity is the hairs ability to stretch and return to its original shape and length without damage. Wet hair that is in good condition can be stretched one quarter of its length without damage.Elasticity depends on the keratin levels and sulphide bonds in the cortex of the hair and its moisture content. These can easily be affected by chemical treatments such as relaxers, perms or bleaching. These chemical services can create poor elasticity in your hair and limit its ability to stretch. The hair will also be weak and fragile, and will break easily. Poor elasticity can be improved by the use of deep conditioning treatments that contain vegetable proteins such as Structural Balance Hydrating Reconstructor. The natural ability of vegetable proteins to immediately penetrate into the hair shaft makes them the best choice.

For braids to look neat and last any length of time without loosening they need to be put in very tightly. Very tight braids can cause a medical condition known as Traction Alopecia, a form of baldness. Traction Alopecia is caused by constant stress on the hair follicle due to the constant wearing of tight ponytails and most commonly braids such as cornrows, or braids that are used in hair weaving techniques. If you have your hair braided occasionally your hair follicles can withstand the stress. However, if you continue to braid your hair on a regular basis (every six weeks is typical) your hair can pull away from the hair follicle and fall out. In extreme cases scar tissue may form and the hair loss can be permanent. It is important when receiving this service to let the stylist know if they are pulling too hard.


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