What gives curls...their curls?

Article by Ken Burkeen
Founder & CEO, Huetiful
Follow me on Instagram at:  @kenhuetiful

What gives textured hair its texture?

For the longest time, I've tried to steer clients and customers away from the phrase "black hair" or <fill in the blank race, ethnicity, nationality> hair. The fact of the matter is that our ethnicity, race, or nationality is not what dictates our texture. While our hair might be closely correlated with our hair texture, our hair texture is not caused by our race or ethnicity (it isn't "causal"). 

The two natural factors that cause our hair to be textured are:

1.  The protein bonding within each strand of hair.

2.  The shape of the hair follicle (cavity) in which our hair grows out from within our scalp.

Let's take a quick, deep dive into these two factors. 

Protein Bonds
Protein bonds are very near and dear to Huetiful's heart. It was our understanding of protein bonds, back in 2012, that resulted in the creation of our signature service - the Huetiful nanoSMOOTHING Treatment; a cysteine-based strengthening treatment that naturally loosens your curl pattern but that allows for you to have the versatility of wearing your hair curly or straight.

The strands of hair that you see are comprised largely of dead cells packed full of the fibrous protein known as keratin. This protein contains many copies of the amino acid cysteine. In the case of hair, which is largely keratin, these cysteine amino acids can bond. Curly hair has more of these bonds, referred to as disulfide bonds, than straight hair. 
Follicle Shape
It turns out that the shape of our follicles is also a major determinant of our hair texture if not the biggest determinant. The follicle of curly hair adopts an oval shape. The flatter the oval is, the curlier the hair will be. If you were to look at the follicle of straight hair, you would find it is perfectly round.

Altering your natural texture or curl pattern 
Follicles are the biggest determinant of our hair shape. Although we can't control this part of our hair, understanding the science of curly hair has allowed us to overcome the features genetics gave us. The old school solution of changing texture was to use perms and relaxing treatments to change the structure of hair. If you have curly hair but want straight hair, then you use chemicals that can break, or "relax", these bonds. If you want to go from straight to curly, then all you need is a chemical to allow these bonds to form.

At Huetiful, we prefer using natural techniques and processes to temporarily alter the hereditary gift of texture. Thermal straightening, after sufficient steam hydration, can allow for a temporary non-damaging straightening of hair. Huetiful nanoSMOOTHING naturally infuses cysteine and amino acids to safely restructure bonds and provide a looser texture and curl pattern. For a curly style, the combination of our Huetiful Foam Wrap Lotion, rod sets, or coil techniques provide more defined curls to our already textured curl pattern.
Whatever your preferred style, know that your natural texture is a gift that should be treated with patience and understanding regardless of your hue, ethnicity, or race. If you can understand the science of hair, you can develop products and techniques to safely get the styling results that you desire without compromising the long-term health of your hair.


How untrimmed ends affect your hair styling

WRITTEN BY Crystal Boateng
Sr. Stylist, Huetiful Salon (Chicago)
Instagram: @crystal_huetiful


Failure to keep your ends clipped affects the detangling of your hair, the finish of your blowout and the finish of your silk press. I find that when clients refuse to clip their ends, their style is not full of life, bouncy, silky, etc. In order to achieve these things, properly clipping or trimming should be a huge part of a successful hairstyle. Example of split ends; frayed denim jeans, unmanicured nails, splintered wood, these images are what split ends look like.

20170227_120911          20170227_122655
        DAMAGED, SPLIT ENDS                         HEALTHY TRIMMED HAIR

When your ends need to be trimmed this slows down your detangling process big time. Fortunately clipping your ends is free with every service at Huetiful Salon because we care about you clipping your ends and not having to worry about paying for an extra service. Huetiful Salon charges a 25 detangling fee for seriously tangled hair regular trimming can help you avoid this service fee.

When ends need to be trimmed your hair never silks. It looks swollen or your have "flyaway" hair strands that look frizzy. 

Book a healthy hair consultation (just $15) with me or our talented stylists and let's address those split ends. We like to take a proactive approach versus a reactive approach. So, we can make product and service recommendations that will PREVENT split ends from happening; not just MAINTAINING once they do split. 


FAQs for Crochet Braids

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 
By Sr. Stylist, Chi Lowe, Huetiful Salon (Atlanta)

Chi BW Photo Website

These FAQs provide basic information to people who have little or no experience getting crochet braids. The questions has been answered using a combination of experience and research substaniated through my own personal experience.

While I've made every effort to provide good information in these FAQs, you should feel free to do additional research on any subject you disagree with.

How do I prepare my hair for an installation of crochet braids?

At Huetiful Salon we pride ourselves on giving you the best shampoo and conditioning service that includes a deep conditioning hair steam service for great hydration! If necessary, request a protein treatment or use a product with protein in it to help strengthen your hair and prepare for a long term protective style.

I am transitioning from a relaxer, can I wear crochet braids?

Yes! Crochet Braids, like any other protective hairstyle (weave or individual braids), requires braiding of your natural hair whether it's permed or not. However, you should consider the condition of your hair before you install any long term protective style and make the best decision based off the current state of your hair. Relaxing your hair can render your hair weak. Putting braids on top of fresh perm or hair in a weakened state can cause serious damage to your hair.

How many packs of hair will I need for a crochet braid hairstyle?

There are a few variables that determine how much hair you will need to purchase for an installation of crochet braids such as style, length, volume, and bulk hair choice. During your consultation we will discuss how much hair to purchase based on your style choice.

Can braiding hair be added to the cornrows?

Yes! I always add braiding hair to the cornrows to take stress off the natural hair.

Will I need a consultation before getting crochet braids installed?

A consultation is optional though highly recommended. In your consultation we will go over styling choices and hair options. At this time I can examine your hair to make sure it is healthy enough for braiding and take a mental note of what braid pattern I will use to give you your desired look.

What kind of hair do I need for crochet braids?

Synthetic or human loose bulk or braiding hair. This is hair that is not attached to a weft or track as with weaving hair.

What is the best brand of hair for crochet braids?

While I can't answer that questions with absolute certainty since every person has different standards. I can say with any protective hairstyle, the quality of hair does matter. A bad quality of hair will get you bad results. I can say there are brands of synthetic bulk hair that are more commonly used than other brands, to name a few: Freetress, Outre Batik, Model Model, Sensationnel, Femie and Janet Noir for Marley Hair.

I want crochet braids, but I don't know what style to get?

There are a variety of styles you can wear with crochet braids. Some people get overwhelmed with the selection of bulk hair options used to create a crochet braid hairstyle. If you've never had crochet braids before I recommend you do a little research online to see what other crochet braid hairstyles are most appealing to you. This approach may relieve some of the anxiety created from trying to choose a crochet braid hairstyle that best fits your features and personality. Start your search on my instagram page @chilowe_huetiful to see if you can find inspiration from any of the the styles I've created. You can also explore other hairstyle inspirations to create a crochet braid look for you. After you've had your installation of crochet braids installed you will become much more comfortable playing with different crochet braid styling options.

Will I have visible parts in my head?

No! My specific crochet braiding technique gives you a braid pattern that give you ample coverage of your cornrow base.

What kind of volume or fullness will I have with crochet braids?

You can have as much or as little volume with crochet braids as you like. We will discuss how full you want your hair in your consultation so you know how much hair to purchase. One of the benefits of having crochet braids is if you are unhappy with the volume of your hairstyle after an installation you can remove or add as much hair as you need to achieve your desired look.

How do I maintain my crochet braids?

Wear a satin scraf or bonnet to bed each night to keep hair looking fresh. Treat synthetic or human hair with a conditioning spray for human/synthetic hair to prevent tangling, dryness, and frizzing.

How do I treat my scalp and natural hair with crochet braids?

Moisturize a few times a week to prevent your scalp and natural hair from becoming excessively dry. Use a conditioning spray for human hair or you can make your own conditioning spray with different oils and water to keep your hair moisturized. Spray directly on the scalp between the parts on your cornrow base and repeat weekly.

Can I wash my hair with crochet braids?

Yes! An easy way to wash your hair with crochet braids is to use diluted shampoo and a leave in conditioner. Mix shampoo and water in a spray bottle. Spray your cleansing mixture directly on the scalp between the parts in your cornrow base. Massage your entire scalp to release any dirt and/or product build-up. Rinse hair, then spray a leave-in condition on your scalp. Finally, seal in moisture with an oil (coconut, jojoba, olive, etc.) of your choice.

How long will my crochet braid style last?

Crochet braid hairstyles last between 4 to 8 weeks or longer depending on the intricacies of your braid pattern, quality of hair installed, and your maintenance routine. Since crochet braids are a long term protective style, be mindful that your natural hair needs care as well. Leaving your hair braided longer that 8 weeks can increase breakage of your natural hair.

How do I remove my crochet braids?

The easiest way to remove crochet braids is to cut them down close to the base of the cornrows, but above where the knot is tied. Be careful not to cut the natural hair in your cornrow base. Saturate your hair with an oil of your choice (jojoba, olive oil, etc) to aid in slippage and reduce breakage of natural hair. Leave the oil in your hair for at least 30 minutes or longer so it penetrates the braiding hair and your natural hair. Unravel your cornrows, the remaining braiding hair should slip out.