Q: What should I do if I cut my hair too short while removing hair extensions?
A: If you're uncomfortable cutting your hair evenly to match the shorter section, keep your extensions until your hair grows back, or opt for a trendy angular or asymmetrical style to disguise your mistake, recommends hairstylist Lena J. of the Ritual Salon & Spa in Las Vegas.
Q: How can I make all of my locs the same size?
A: Visit a professional loctician who can probably comb them out and start over again if you haven't been growing them for a long time. If locs are more established, roll the smaller ones together using Razac's Loc-A-Fella Loc & Twist Butter to create larger locs that are more consistent in size, advises Tia Hardy of Duafe Holistic Hair Care in Philadelphia.
Q: How do I get rid of split ends?
A: Cut off your split ends, says Lena J. In addition to trimming, be proactive and prevent more breakage by reducing the amount of heat used to style hair and always using a conditioning product. We recommend Mizani's H20 Intense Night-Time Treatment ($18, mizaniusa.com for locations), to coat and protect hair.
Q: Why does my gray hair turn yellow?
A: When gray hair reacts to certain chemical relaxers, it is not uncommon for it to turn a yellowish hue, explains colorist Vicki Pouncie, who owns Nubiance Salon & Spa in Atlanta. To conceal grays, your stylist can apply a semipermanent color immediately following the relaxing treatment. Or restore its natural brilliancy with a treatment that zaps the discoloration such as Arosci's Yellow-Out Treatment ($24, arosciproducts.com).
Q: Can I correct my disastrous at-home dye job?
A: Never try to correct it yourself. Instead, Pouncie recommends finding a colorist who can correct the color with a semi-permanent shade immediately. Afterward, undergo routine conditioning treatments to nurse your hair back to health. Avoid any additional coloring for several months.
Q: What should I do to stop my hair from falling out?
A: Lena J. recommends treating weak strands by scheduling routine conditioning treatments with your stylist and staying away from unnecessary chemical processing. If your hair's condition doesn't improve, see a dermatologist to find out if there's an underlying cause. Try Dr. Miracle's Follicle Healer Pomade to nourish the scalp.
Q: How do I reduce the amount of razor bumps I get after a weekly shape-up?
A: Contrary to popular belief, razor bumps are not the result of the use of contaminated tools but from hair that is shaved too close to the skin, says Miami-based dermatologist Angelo P. Thrower, M.D. It causes the hair follicle in the pore to swell and itch; scratching causes the formation of bumps. To treat razor bumps topically, we recommend a product with salicyclic acid like Alba Botanica Natural Acnedote Invisible Treatment Gel. Also use a cortisone cream to reduce itchiness and prevent further irritation.
Q: How do I get rid of white buildup on my locs?
A: Alleviate product buildup by rinsing hair with apple-cider vinegar and water, Hardy suggests. Pour the mixture over hair and let it soak for 15 minutes. Rinse with water, then wash with a clarifying shampoo such as Carol's Daughter Rosemary Mint Purifying Shampoo. Avoid accumulation of residue in the future by diluting creamy shampoos and conditioners with water before using them. Products will pass through hair more easily instead of collecting in strands.
Q: What can I do to keep my natural hair from knotting?
A: Women with natural hair often slack off on scheduling regular trims, but Krika Bradsher, owner of Sophia Sunflower Salon in Raleigh, NC, advises trimming hair every six to eight weeks to prevent tangling. At home, try a product like Kinky-Curly Knot Today ($12, Target stores). And always use a wide-tooth comb to detangle ends first before working up to the roots.
Q: Why is my hair a magnet for debris?
A: Products that contain large amounts of beeswax and mineral oil tend to attract dust and dirt, says Bradsher, so give those ingredients a break. To keep hair moisturized without attracting lint, use products that contain shea butter instead. Try SoftSheen-Carson Roots of Nature Strengthening Oil Mosturizer.
Q: Routine blow-drying altered my hair's natural curl pattern. Is it possible to restore my original texture?
A: "Heat is the No. 1 factor that alters hair texture," says Lena J. "Embrace a natural hairstyle that doesn't require heat, so it will allow your hair to come back to its natural texture." She recommends washing hair with a clarifying shampoo like Fekkai Apple Cider Clarifying Shampoo ($23, fekkai.com) to strip your strands of any products that may be altering its natural texture. Lastly hydrate to restore shine. We like Moroccanoil Intense Hydrating Mask.
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