How to Start!
# Wash the hair. Never use shampoo that has sodium laurel sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate as an ingredient; it just dries hair out. One trick to use if you don't want to spend a lot of money, is to use an inexpensive conditioner to wash the hair. Although "Conditioner Only" and "Water Only" washes are sometimes used when hair has been overshampood, you should wash the hair with both shampoo and conditioner for the majority of the time.
# As you wash and condition the hair, try to keep it from becoming tangled. Do this by gently shampooing hair at the scalp and not on the length. Allow shampoos to wash down the length as you rinse. Apply conditioner to the length and not to the scalp. This will prevent difficulty rinsing conditioner at the roots.
# Never rub a towel against the hair. That will result in frizziness and damage. Gently pat the hair with a towel to stop the dripping. Using a microfiber towel works best.
# Comb through hair with a wide-toothed comb while hair is damp. When hair is damp/wet it is very fragile, so you must be very careful, but if you don't comb it when wet/damp you'll have a harder time trying to comb it. As you comb the hair re-wet it slightly if it has gotten too dry. You can use a spray bottle filled with warm water for this.
# Starting at the nape of the neck and working your way toward the forehead, part hair using the end of a "rat-tail" comb or your fingers, whichever you choose, into 2-inch by 2-inch square sections. Gently comb each section to detangle it. Apply a very small amount of your favorite hair oil to each section as you comb it. The hair will divide into 15-20 medium sections depending on the thickness and length of hair.
# Continue doing this to the rest of the sections then let the hair air dry.
# If you are styling a child's hair, the hair will look very pretty if ribbons are used as part of the braid if double ponytails are used at the sides of the head.
# If the child prefers a single ponytail, use a cloth covered rubber band to make the ponytail. Braid the ponytail and add a pretty hairclip (or barrette) on the end that matches her outfit or use ribbons and flowers that match her clothes. Making bangs with heated curlers will really dress up this style.
# Another pretty style for girls is to use a semicircular headband. These come nicely decorated with patterns, flowers and in a variety of colors. First, gently comb the hair backwards. Next, place the bangle at the forhead and push it back over the hair until it is alligned with the ears. Lastly, use heated curlers to make a soft, neat edge at the ends of the hair.
# If you are styling an adult's hair, heated curlers are an excellent way to style the hair. They come in a variety of sizes and lengths, and can be purchased at your local beauty supply store. Heated curlers take about 20 minutes to style hair so use them in the mornings before starting the day. Part the hair using the tail of a rat-tail comb and apply the curler in a pattern that is pleasing to you. For longer hair, you can put the curlers around the edges of the hair only, or use the to create bangs. For shorter hair it is best to use the curlers throughout the entire hair, placing them in straight lines from back to front. Once the curlers cool, remove them and use a pick to gently move the hair into a pleasing style. Experiment with the heated curlers until you find the best and most pleasing look.
# For longer hair, another excellent styling tool to use is a flat iron. Prior to each use of a flat iron, be sure the hair is lightly oiled and moistureized with a professional moisturizer. Starting from the back of hair and working forward, gently part the hair into 1 or 2 inch thick parts. Use the flat iron to straighten each section. Once all the hair is straight, it can be pulled back into a ponytail, or heated curlers can be applied to create soft and pretty curves on the ends.
# Medium to long hair can also be nicely styled using a blow-dryer. Blow drying can damage hair so don't do it too often. For a nice styling change, after washing the hair and applying oil as above, blow dry it. This will give it a soft feel. Banana clips are excellent for styling hair which has been blow dried. Put the banana clip on the hair and then braid the back of the hair or use one heated curler on the end. Ponytails are also nice in blow dried hair. For a more mature look use a small heated curler on each side to create sophisticated curls on each side of the head right in front of the ear.
# For very short hair or afros, adding pretty and decorative combs, hair clips and artificial flowers can really dress it up. Comb the sides back and pin in place with hair clips. Or part the hair in the middle from the forhead to the top of the head, comb downward from the part and apply hair clips and flowers. Tiaras also look very pretty with afro styled hair, especially for special occassions and weddings.
# Decorative hair clips, ribbons, flowers, bangles, combs and tiaras are available at most department stores, specialty stores, beauty supply stores, etc. They come with beads, tiny flowers, pretty patterns and come in many colors and styles. Buy them to have on hand when you want something different.
# For a prfessional or very pretty and polished look, use hair decorations that match the color of the clothes being worn.
# When sleeping make sure that you put a satin cap on the hair so that it doesn't frizz and any curls do not come loose. Leave the cap on overnight. If the satin cap causes excess perspiration, use a satin pillowcase instead. These are usually available in an array of colors in the bedding sections of department stores or at beauty supply stores.
# Twists - Depending on the texture of the hair and the amount of time you have, you can twist the hair while wet, clip or pin the ends, and either place under a hood-type hair dryer or leave in overnight and either take the twists out and the hair will have small spiral curls, or you can leave the twists in. Some twists will hold for about two weeks. (Do not leave twists in the hair for more than two weeks, or the twists may become dreadlocks, which are impossible to loosen.
* Textured hair can be fragile, so be gentle when styling it.
* Adding color such as browns, reds or blonds to the ends of the hair can also be very attractive.
* Never make a child feel bad because his/her hair is different from your own. You could damage his/her self esteem permanently.
* Everyone is different. Celebrate that.
* Relaxed hair and hair in its natural state require different types of care. The above information does not pertain to relaxed hair. Treat all hair as if it were silk.
* There are different flavors of natural hair. Hair styles such as dreads, sister locks, afro, using little or no products to achieve wash and go hair. No matter what style you decide to wear your hair in, never forget to love your hair FIRST!