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best vegan hair dyes

Gone are the days of questionable hair dye ingredients and strong chemical formulas.

Whether you’re strictly vegan or not, opting for a cruelty-free brand of hair dye can help your hair and the environment.

Plus, vegan hair dyes come in all kinds of shades, from natural hues to more vibrant shades. As more and more people make the switch to a more humane lifestyle, the demand for vegan hair dyes is only going to grow.

What Are Vegan Hair Dyes?

What Are Vegan Hair Dyes

Well, for one thing, vegan hair dyes are produced without harming animals, either by using animal-derived ingredients or testing the results of the product on animals.

Ninety-five percent of animals used in experiments are not protected by the federal Animal Welfare Act.

Vegan hair dyes, on the other hand, use plant-based sources and vegetable-based dyes such as henna to achieve rich and radiant hair color.

There is a wide range of vegan hair dyes out there, spanning temporary, semi-permanent, and permanent formulas.

You’ll have to read the ingredients list on your chosen box of hair dye, but some formulas contain hair-healthy ingredients such as cocoa butter and essential oils.

Lots of conventional hair dyes are made with ammonia, which penetrates the hair shaft and can lead to more extensive damage. Fortunately, the majority of vegan dyes are ammonia-free but still manage to create lasting results.

How Did We Find the Best Vegan Hair Dyes?

How Did We Find the Best Vegan Hair Dyes

To find the top vegan hair dyes, we wanted to find brands with good corporate values and a commitment to offering vegan products and cruelty-free products.

We reviewed their ingredients list and compared each product to competitors in the vegan hair dye marketplace. It was also crucial to check out user reviews and understand what customers who used the product had to say.

What Are the Best Vegan Hair Dyes for Curly Hair?

Below are the top three vegan hair dyes that you should try out when it’s time for your next hair coloring treatment.

1. Light Mountain: Best Botanical Blend Hair Dye

Light Mountain natural hair color and conditioner is a vegan formula rooted in botanicals.

The henna-based formula gives your hair a conditioning treatment while you color it, making it a complete kit.

Plus, Light Mountain has the backing of influencers in the conscious consumers’ sphere.

The formula is certified organic and is free of parabens, ammonia, peroxide, and metallic salts. That means that the product’s formulation doesn’t include chemicals that will strip your hair of its natural oils.

Rather, Light Mountain uses a fine henna powder to create a creamy consistency that achieves lasting results. The ingredients list is sparse: henna, indigo, and senna leaf powder.

This semi-permanent vegan hair dye isn’t the best smelling, but it comes in 16 beautiful shades and it is all-natural.

There’s a bit of a learning curve to using this dye, as it requires you to mix common home ingredients such as tea and lemon into the botanical powder.

According to customers, it’s worth it for the vibrant color you get from this henna-based hair dye.

Pros:

  • All-natural and organic formula
  • Gorgeous, vibrant color
  • Includes complete color and conditioning kit

Cons:

  • Has a strong smell
  • Takes some getting used to due to the learning curve

Click here to read the latest reviews and check current pricing of the Light Mountain Natural Hair Coloring & Conditioning Treatment on Amazon.

2. Manic Panic: Best Budget Buy

Manic Panic is a wildly popular semi-permanent formula that is backed by 40 years of experience.

Over the years it has become a name in quality at-home hair dye, and it’s vegan!

Manic Panic is available in 51 shades and the line also includes a “pastelizer” for creating a more subdued color. Honestly, you could also just mix some light-colored conditioner into the mix instead.

This formula will gradually fade as you wash your hair, so it will only last for a few weeks.

Those with darker hair will have trouble holding onto the color without bleaching their hair, so for best results, they should lighten their hair before applying the Manic Panic formula.

A four-ounce jar of Manic Panic usually costs less than $10, so it’s a great choice for those on a budget. It comes in a ready to use, no-mix formula, making it a bit easier to use than the Light Mountain multi-step process.

That being said, this doesn’t product penetrate the hair follicles, but just sits on the outside of the hair shaft, which explains why it’s not a long-lasting solution.

Still, it’s free of parabens, gluten, ammonia, phthalates, resorcinol, and PPD. Plus, the mix and match shades allow you to create a custom hair color.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Mixable color and tones
  • Ready-to-use formula

Cons:

  • Less effective on dark hair
  • Washes out rather quickly

Click here to read the latest reviews and check current pricing of the Manic Panic Purple Haze Hair Coloring Treatment on Amazon.

3. Surya Brasil Henna Cream: Best Pure-Henna Formula

Surya Brasil Henna Cream is a solid choice for curly girls, as it strengthens your hair without exposing it to harsh chemicals.

This is a wonderful vegan formula for those with a sensitive scalp or who have experienced allergic reactions to harsher hair dyes.

It smells pretty good for a hair dye, and that could be because of the essential oils in the formula, such as ylang-ylang and rose flower.

Other botanical ingredients include chamomile, Indian sandalwood, jasmine, Brazil nut extract, and aloe vera leaf extract.

Surya Brasil is a bit more expensive than other hair dyes, costing approximately $15 for a 2.31-ounce box.

Still, it’s a convenient pre-mixed formula that adds shine and strength. Just keep in mind that you’ll have to wait around 48 hours for the henna to set. That means no washing!

This vegan hair dye works on all tones and while it won’t get you complete gray coverage, it can blend your grays with a rich tone that looks mature and radiant.

Pros:

  • Easy-to-use henna-based formula
  • Great for those with sensitive scalps
  • Includes essential oils for hair health

Cons:

  • A bit pricey compared to others
  • Requires 48 hours for the henna to set

Click here to read the latest reviews and check current pricing of the Surya Brasil Dark Brown Henna Cream Hair Coloring Treatment on Amazon.

Common Questions About Vegan Hair Dyes

Is Vegan Hair Dye Better for Curly Hair
Is Vegan Hair Dye Better for Curly Hair?

Perhaps, but any hair coloring process is going to weaken your hair somewhat.

Consider the fact that each hair on your head is a fiber that is protected by the cuticle. When you dye your hair, especially if you are using permanent hair color, you can damage your hair’s keratin protein structure.

This will diminish your hair softness and shine and make it more prone to future damage. If you’re still set on dyeing your hair, be sure to use a chelating shampoo and a deep conditioning treatment before you get started. We always recommend starting with clean, well-conditioned hair.

For reference, the semi-permanent color tends to be less damaging than permanent color since it mostly sits on the outer cortex of your hair rather than making its way into the cuticle.

Also, for best results, you will want to wait at least a day or two before you wash your hair again. The next time you wash your hair, use products that are formulated for color-treated hair.

Believe it or not, henna is very common among women with curly hair because it’s a natural formula free of potentially harmful additives and harsh chemicals such as parabens.

Plus, as a bonus, henna can help maintain your hair’s shine and strength.

Will Vegan Hair Dye Be Better for My Allergies?

It’s possible. However, it really depends on what it is that you’re allergic to. Even plant-based and vegan products can cause allergic reactions in some people.

When using a new hair dye, it’s best to test out of a small strand of your hair before committing to covering your entire head.

What Hair Dye Ingredients Should I Avoid?

Sometimes using a vegan hair dye isn’t enough, as harsh chemicals and additives can be lurking just about anywhere.

First on our list is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, or SLS for short. It’s used often in shampoos, but can find its way into hair-coloring products, too.

The function of SLS in hair dye is to break the tension along the surface of your hair, which allows the product to make better contact with the hair.

Some health professionals claim that SLS is carcinogenic, but it’s still a widely debated topic. Next is PPD, or p-Phenylenediamine, which is derived from ammonia.

PPD works to help the pigment stick to your hair, and it’s especially prevalent in darker hues.

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for people to be allergic to PPD in some capacity, and its effects can get worse the more often you use PPD-containing hair dyes.

Ammonia is another common hair dye ingredient and one that can be hard to get away from. It’s known for being a toxic chemical, but that doesn’t keep it out of common household products such as hair color.

Ammonia works by getting your hair shafts ready to accept new pigment, allowing for a more effective dyeing treatment.

That being said, ammonia also damages your hair by raising its pH level and depleting it of protein and moisture.

Lastly, Resorcinol (or dihydroxy benzene) is known to increase a person’s cancer risk, as well as disrupt their hormone production and irritate the skin.

Even so, it is useful in hair dyes because it helps the color stay longer. Similar to PPD, some people have more serious allergic reactions to Resorcinol, so it’s best to avoid it.

What Hair Dye Ingredients Should I Avoid

What’s the Difference Between Cruelty-Free Hair Dyes and Vegan Hair Dyes?

It’s easy for consumers to get confused by all of the claims that brands make on their packaging. Two claims that seem identical are cruelty-free and vegan, but in reality, they are quite different.

The term cruelty-free refers to a product that wasn’t tested on animals. However, that doesn’t mean that the product is vegan, or free of animal-derived ingredients. 

It’s easy to spot a “vegan” or ”cruelty-free” logo on a product, but a look at the ingredients list can show a different story.

Unfortunately, there is not much regulation in the use of labels such as “organic” and “all-natural,” which can lead some consumers astray.

For instance, if you’re looking at the ingredients list and you see 4-ABP, that indicates that the product contains Resorcinol, a carcinogenic substance.

Are Vegan and Vegetable-Based Hair Dyes the Same

Are Vegan and Vegetable-Based Hair Dyes the Same?

Nope! Even a vegetable-based dye could still contain animal products or harsh chemicals.

Also, vegetable-based products could be tested on animals, but the vegetable-based sticker leads to a different perception. Remember that companies can use a label that says “plant-based” without the product being vegan or plant-based.

Is My Salon Using a Vegan Hair Dye?

Maybe, but probably not, since most hair salons don’t carry a ton of vegan and cruelty-free products.

One known exception would be an Aveda salon, which will offer products from their line of plant-based and cruelty-free hair colors.

This isn’t to say that you can’t find a hair colorist with vegan values, it just might take some research to locate one in your area.

Are Henna Hair Dyes also Vegan Hair Dyes?

The Surya Brasil hair dye is a henna-based formula, which might cause some confusion. Is it vegan? Is it plant-based?

Most of the henna you will find today is made entirely of natural plant-based materials, making it a vegan option.

It’s worth noting that henna isn’t entirely the same as a hair dye since henna and traditional hair dye interact with different parts of the hair.

Henna binds to the keratin in the hair’s cuticle while hair dye penetrates the inner cortex of the hair.

Don’t be fooled though, because henna can stay in your hair for a long time!

The Final Word

Are Henna Hair Dyes also Vegan Hair Dyes

When it comes to finding the best vegan hair dye for your hair, it will take some digging and researching.

Every head of hair is different, and while hair colorists at your local salon can point you in the right direction, they don’t always have all of the answers.

It’s great that you want to opt for a hair dye formula that is cruelty-free and vegan but just be aware that your search will take a bit longer.

Trust us. it is worth the wait as you will reduce the probability of adding potentially damaging chemicals to your hair. This will reduce your risk of an allergic reaction, too.

Give these three vegan hair dyes a look and see if any of them feel right for you. Best of luck finding your next hair color, all while protecting animals and the health of your hair.

The Best Vegan Hair Dyes and Cruelty-Free Hair Coloring Treatments

best hair towels for curly hair

Are you thinking about purchasing a microfiber hair towel?

In this article, we review the best hair towels for curly hair, however these towels are pretty universal and work well for nearly all hair types.

What’s a Microfiber Towel?

Microfiber towels are made of fine fibers that are fitted close together along the surface of the towel. They’re less fluffy than a cotton towel but more effective at drying hair and reducing frizz.

These towels have a smooth texture, which means less breakage and damage.

While the coarse fibers on a cotton towel can get caught on your strands, the fine fibers on a microfiber towel won’t lift your cuticle or promote frizz.

They also last longer, making them a worthy investment. Microfiber towels can last for years if you take care of them.

These towels are great for getting excess moisture out of your hair without stripping it of all its natural moisture. Since it’s an efficient drying material, you don’t have to rub your hair ragged.

This reduces the friction on your strands, helping you maintain healthy hair and decreasing the risk of split ends and frizziness.

Best Microfiber Hair Towel for Curly Hair

microfiber hair towels

Here are a few top picks for curl-friendly microfiber towels that will reduce your drying time and your chances of breakage and frizz.

DevaCurl DevaTowel

DevaCurl is a company with 25 years of experience in the world of curly hair, starting as a salon tailored to women with curls.

Their “DevaCut” quickly became well known in the haircare world and the company soon expanded into a line of styling products.

Their cleanser, diffuser, and other products are designed to maintain the lush shape of different curl types.

In 2007, they opened the DevaCurl Academy to train hairstylists on how to care for curly hair.

Their 100% microfiber Deva Towel is intended for all curl types and will safely dry the hair while enhancing your curl shape or wave pattern.

Its smooth texture won’t lift your cuticle so your hair stays frizz-free and gorgeous. The microfiber blend is made of 80% polyester and 20% polyamide for a soft, lint-free, and hypoallergenic fabric.

This towel is awesome for curly and wavy hair but it would also be great for straighter hair and other hair types as well. The towel absorbs just enough water to get you ready for your day without depleting your hair of moisture.

You’ll drastically decrease your drying time with the DevaTowel while reducing frizz and maintaining the health of your hair. The towel is also very soft, cleans easily, and comes with a convenient fabric loop so you can hang it dry.

At 39″ x 20″, it may be too small if you’ve got a lot of hair. Lots of women found that the towel was too thick for the plop method so consider your hair length and thickness before purchasing.

On the whole, the DevaTowel is a high-performing microfiber towel from a reputable brand.

Pros:

  • Has a convenient loop for hang drying
  • Works well for curly, wavy, kinky and straighter hair types
  • Is lint-free, hypoallergenic and easy to clean

Cons:

  • Small overall
  • Too thick for plop method

Click here to read user reviews, see more images, check current pricing and to purchase the DevaCurl DevaTowel.

Turbie Twist Microfiber Towel

You might remember the Turbie Twist commercials from back in the day.

Today, the brand is well known among haircare aficionados and even made it to the INC 500 list of the fastest-growing companies in America.

Made of a microfiber blend of 87% polyester, 13% polyamide and measuring 23″, the Turbie Twist is a solid choice for just about everyone.

Its universal size and elastic loop are suitable for kids and adults. Just put it on, twist it, and loop the fabric to secure it around your head for a customized fit.

It comes in a variety of fun colors and patterns and it’s machine washable for your convenience.

The Turbie Twist removes just enough water so you’re not dripping all over the floor but then you still have enough moisture left to apply your favorite styling products.

If you’re constantly worried about over-drying your hair, then this is the product that we recommend. Efficient drying leaves your curls or waves nice and soft while the tapered design ensures a better fit on your head.

There will be no more balancing a bulky towel on your head and straining your neck! This towel is durable, super soft, and lighter than a conventional towel.

It’s a good size for short and long hair and it stays put so you can go about your business while you dry your hair, which is great for getting ready in the morning.

If your hair is super long and thick, then you might have a few pieces sticking out of the Turbie Towel but the product has a pocket of fabric included in the design for this very purpose.

Overall, the majority of users find it to be a good size and a great way to minimize the potential damage caused by drying curly hair.

Pros:

  • Achieves a better fit on your head
  • Is suitable for long and short hair
  • Fits kids and adults

Cons:

  • Doesn’t get hair completely dry
  • Might be a tad short for very long hair

Click here to read user reviews, see more images, check current pricing and to purchase the Turbie Twist Microfiber Towel.

Aquis Original Microfiber Hair Towel

The Aquis brand is a mainstay in the haircare niche; plus, they’re passionate about female empowerment.

What’s not to love?

All of their towels and turbans are designed to keep hair naturally hydrated so women can shine on and love their hair.

Aquis tailors its products to all types of hair lengths and textures. They tested several natural and synthetic fibers to find the best fit for their towel.

The result was the Aquitex microfiber solution, a blend of 80% polyester and 20% nylon.

The Aquis Original Microfiber Hair Towel gets the water out while keeping your hair’s natural moisture in so your hair stays soft and shiny.

The ultra-fine fibers cut down on friction and eliminate the need to rub your hair, resulting in way less frizz.

The way it works is the absorbed water gets distributed throughout the length of the towel, encouraging even drying and less swelling of the cuticle.

This is a good choice for color-treated hair as the towel won’t lift the cuticle, which maintains hair texture and color.

Besides being great for curls, it works well for fine and thinning hair because of its gentle microfibers.

The towel’s thin material is gentle yet effective and works on thick and thin hair with no need for rubbing or scrunching.

The Aquis microfiber hair towel was even recognized by Good Housekeeping magazine as the best quick-dry hair towel.

If you’re looking to drastically reduce your blow-drying time and save your strands from heat damage and breakage, this lightweight towel is perfect.

It’s machine washable and dries quickly between uses. It measures 39″ x 19″ and has an average lifespan of three years.

On the downside, this towel might be too small for those with longer hair. There’s also no loop to keep it in place so hopefully you’re skilled at the plop method!

Pros:

  • Maintains hair’s natural texture and shine
  • Commonly recognized as a top hair towel
  • Made from ultrafine Aquitex microfibers

Cons:

  • Might be too small for people with longer hair
  • Has no loop to keep it in place

Click here to read user reviews, see more images, check current pricing and to purchase the Aquis Original Microfiber Hair Towel.

How to Towel Dry Curly Hair

The “plop method” is one of the most common methods of towel drying curly hair. It’s also a method that’s commonly recommended by stylists.

While sitting or standing, lay a towel out vertically in front of you. Then, bend over at the waist so that you can flip your hair over your head.

With your hair on the towel, fold the sides in, then bring the edge that is farther away from you over your hair to meet the nape of your neck. Tie the excess towel material in a knot on top of your head.

Within 10 to 20 minutes, you should have dry enough hair that you only need to use a diffuser or let their hair air dry for a few minutes to finish up.

After drying your hair, apply your preferred styling product and allow it to sit in your hair undisturbed. You may be tempted to touch it up but messing around with it will invite more frizz.

You can also leave the towel on your head overnight if you’re washing your hair in the evening. This will be an individualized thing so experiment with what works best for you personally.

Unlike the twisted towel drying method, this plop method lessens your hair’s exposure to breakage, split ends, and frizz by putting less tension on your strands.

Also, since your hair is drying on the top of your head rather than down your back, it will result in bouncier curls and more lift.

Some people like to cup a towel around their wet hair and scrunch it up but this isn’t necessary with a good-quality microfiber cloth.

Besides, the plop method already scrunches up your curls to some extent, helping to further define your curl pattern.

If you want to bypass the towel turban process, then use your towel to cup your wet hair section by section and give it a gentle scrunch to remove excess moisture.

FAQs

Why Use Microfiber Towels for Hair

Don’t worry. You’re not the first person to have questions about using a microfiber towel. If you’re new to using a microfiber towel to dry your hair, here’s what you need to know.

Why Use Microfiber Towels for Hair?

Microfiber towels are designed specifically for drying your hair with minimal damage. Microfiber towels are better for your hair than using cotton towels, which could be damaging. 

Cotton towels have a coarse texture that increases the likelihood of lifting your hair cuticle, which can lead to breakage and frizz. Also, they can increase your chances of split ends. 

Cotton towels are also very drying and end up taking too much moisture out of your hair, leaving it prone to damage.

What Should I Look for When Choosing a Microfiber Towel?

Pay attention to the towel’s material. Cotton towels might work okay for certain hair types, however we only recommend microfiber since the majority of our audience has curly hair.

Different microfiber towels will contain varying blends of polyester, polyamide, and nylon. You’ll also want to consider the size of the towel.

If you don’t have enough dry surface area on the towel to dry your hair, then you won’t get the curl definition you want.

Your hair thickness will also come into play so if you’ve got thick, long hair, you’ll need a towel that’s big enough to dry all that hair.

Sometimes when women are in a pinch, they’ll use t-shirts but you’re likely to get better results with a microfiber towel.

How Do You Properly Clean a Microfiber Towel?

Keeping your towel neat and clean will help your scalp and hair stay in good condition. Since microfiber towels are made of fine materials, you’re better off hand-washing them.

Use lukewarm water and a mild soap every week. If you must stick it in the washing machine, keep it paired with the more delicate laundry items and don’t use fabric softener as it may result in a coarser texture.

Be aware that some brands of microfiber towels will have slightly different cleaning instructions. Some towels are machine-washable and can also go in the dryer.

Other suppliers recommend that you hand-wash the towel and then allow it to hang dry. So be sure to review the cleaning instructions after purchasing a microfiber hair towel.

My Stylist Says That I Should Apply Product Before Drying with a Hair Towel. Is That Okay?

Yes, of course. Everyone’s hair is different and what works for you might not be the best option for another curly-haired lady.

There might be some trial and error that goes on before you find what works best for your particular hair type.

There are different types of curls and waves so if adding your styling product before drying works well for you, that’s perfectly fine.

best hair turbans for curly hair

Singer Beyonce wearing lemonade braids at the World premiere of 'The Lion King' held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, USA

Back in 2016, Beyoncé issued a call to arms for black women in America to get in “formation” and demand their respect in society.

Her visual album Lemonade is perhaps her most signature work, garnering the singer nearly a dozen visual award nominations.

Those visuals included a nod to historical moments in the country as well as key figures in the Black Lives Matter movement and several artists and collaborators.

The album gave us an hour-long retrospective of Beyoncé, her influence, her story, and lots of representations of black hairstyles.

One of the most notable examples was when she wore side cornrows with extensions, which came to be known as “lemonade braids.”

Lemonade Braids: A Brief History

For Lemonade’s filming, Beyoncé turned to Pantene celebrity hairstylist Kim Kimble. The goal was to showcase natural hair, as well as iconic hairstyles from decades past.

Kimble says that “hair is a woman’s crown” and this became evident throughout Lemonade. The whole vibe was bringing us a vintage throwback to a time when African American women didn’t use hair relaxers in their hair.

In those music videos, we saw Beyoncé wear a crown of braids and loose, natural curls. She also wore several other styles such as Dutch braids and Victorian updos with an Afrocentric twist.

We also saw those iconic cornrows that brought us back to the ‘90s.

The side cornrow braids that were seen throughout Beyoncé’s work conjure up images of the singer during her Destiny’s Child days. Also, it reminds us of standout African American women in entertainment, such as Brandy and Janet Jackson.

Beyoncé’s work conjure up images of the singer during her Destiny’s Child days

Cornrows can exude a certain toughness but some baby hair on the edges can give them a softer look, which we saw in Beyoncé’s music video.

It’s a protective hairstyle yet it makes a statement, especially given the context of Lemonade.

Nicki Minaj’s Pink Lemonade Braids

Nicki Minaj’s Pink Lemonade Braids

A year after Beyoncé shook the world with Lemonade, Nicki Minaj came out with her music video for “Motorsport.”

She wore long cornrows that reached down to the floor, prompting fans to deem them “pink lemonade braids.”

The braids were done by none other than Kim Kimble with help from Kendra Garvey.

Nicki’s pink lemonade braids coming on the heels of Beyoncé’s iconic “Formation” hair ushered in a new era of black hairstyles.

More trends began to incorporate the cornrow style, mixing in vibrant colors, extreme lengths, and the addition of jewels and ombre effects.

The “Do’s and “Don’ts” of Lemonade Braids

The “Do's and “Don’ts” of Lemonade Braids

We recommend that first-timers go to a professional hair salon for their lemonade braids. However, if you’re interested in a DIY approach, Bray does a fantastic job in the video above describing the approach.

While lemonade braids are considered a protective hairstyle (meaning that the style shouldn’t cause damage to your hair and should protect the ends of your hair to encourage length retention), this only applies if the style is installed correctly.

If the braids are installed too tightly, creating unnecessary tension on your hair and scalp, you increase the likelihood of incurring significant hair damage.

As you consider either installing lemonade braids yourself or having them installed at a salon, the video below demonstrates several things that you should keep in mind.

The following products were used within these tutorials:

How to Prepare Your Hair for Braids

How to Prepare Your Hair for Braids

Start With Clean, Moisturized and Conditioned Hair

Braids are often worn for long periods of time, so it’s critical that you wash, moisturized and condition your hair prior to having braids installed.

You can follow your normal hair washing routine and incorporate a deep conditioning treatment after cleaning your hair.

If you’re going to use hair extensions within your lemonade braids, some women with sensitive skin choose to soak their braiding hair in apple cider vinegar to avoid itchiness after the braids are installed.

Following the apple cider vinegar soak, be sure to thoroughly rinse the braiding hair with warm water to remove any remaining vinegar.

If you prefer, you could also gently wash the braiding hair with your favorite shampoo prior to install.

Massage Your Scalp with Oil

We believe that scalp massages should be a key component of your hair care regimen regardless of whether you’re wearing braids.

Scalp massages are often addictive because they feel amazing. There is also evidence that incorporating scalp massages into your regimen encourages hair growth.

Often we recommend using your favorite essential oils during scalp massages, however, some women like to utilize witch hazel and water if their scalps are feeling itchy.

Scalp massages are optional, but it’s recommended if you’re trying to encourage hair growth. Plus, they feel wonderful.

Consistently Use a Nighttime Hair Care Routine

To protect and prolong the life of your braids, wear a satin bonnet or silk scarf around your head at night to protect your edges and scalp.

If your hair is on the longer side, then it would help to wrap your hair in a scarf at bedtime. Having a silk pillowcase helps too. Read our natural hair regimen article to create a step-by-step nighttime hair care routine.

Avoid Using Heat Styling Tools and Techniques

Most synthetic hair extensions cannot handle high temperatures, although some human hair extensions can hold-up to heat styling tools. However, we recommend that you avoid heat and allow your hair to air dry to be on the safe side.

Have Fun. Be Creative.

Lemonade braids (and other braided hairstyles) can be done in a multitude of ways, so feel free to play around. The examples shown by Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj are just two examples, but the options are nearly endless.

You can always incorporate concepts from box braids, crochet braids or goddess braids to create a unique look. Or, you could add in some color or incorporate jewelry into your hairstyle. Take a page from Nicki Minaj’s book and explore the possibilities.

Take a Break Between Braided Hairstyles

After these braids are removed, especially if they were tight, you will want to give your hair time to breathe. Jumping straight into another tightly braided hairstyle can increase your chances for traction alopecia.

Should It Feel This Way? Lemonade Braid Maintenance

Cornrows are relatively hassle-free. They’re versatile and low-maintenance, making them a great warm-weather hairstyle.

That being said, cornrows can look fabulous during any season and their high functionality and pop culture status make them a good choice when you’re not sure what to choose.

All it takes is a re-watch of Beyoncé’s Lemonade to get some style inspiration.

Despite being considered a protective style, it is still possible to damage your hair while wearing lemonade braids.

If the braids are too loose, they’ll easily come apart, but if they’re too tight you’ll be reaching for painkillers to ease a throbbing headache.

It’s common for braids to feel a “little” tight at first, but if the tightness is prolonged or becomes painful, the braids are too tight.

One additional revealing sign is if you start seeing little bumps along the hairline. These bumps often indicate that the braids are too tight.

It helps to ask for a test braid from a stylist so you can gauge how the braids feel. If the braids are too tight, you could do serious damage to your hair and scalp.

Always remember that you’re in control. Ask your stylist to adjust the tightness of the braids if necessary.

It’s important to note that most braided hairstyles can last for several weeks. However, many professional stylists suggest only keeping braids in between four and six weeks.

We generally agree with this recommendation, although a shorter timeframe is always better. It’s also important to continue to take care of your natural hair while you’re wearing braids.

How to Wash Your Braids

How to Wash Your Lemonade Braids

The process for washing your braids will vary a bit from person to person but everyone should focus on the scalp since that’s where oils and dirt will usually build up.

We recommend using a gentle shampoo that is free of sulfates, then follow up with a moisturizing conditioner. You read this article to find the best natural hair products (including shampoos and conditioners) to use while wearing braids.

The next step after washing and conditioning your hair is to use a lightweight hair oil and gently massage it into your scalp. Some women even use oil and water mix to gentle spray their braids to preserve their shine.

It’s easy for shampoo to get stuck in your braids and just linger there. To minimize the chances of this, you can fill a spray bottle with equal parts of water and shampoo.

Spray this mixture on your scalp and braids to ensure that you’re getting them clean but you’re not drowning your hair in product.

Then you can rinse it out without worrying about any excess shampoo clinging to your braids.

Finally, we recommend that you steer clear of dry shampoo as it can leave residue around your scalp that can be difficult to get out.

What About Removing the Braids?

What About Removing the Braids

When it comes to taking the braids out, first-timers should go to a stylist. A hair professional will be able to take the braids out while minimizing damage and potential hair loss.

Don’t be alarmed if you see minimal shedding or some infrequent loose strands falling out; this is normal. Of course, you also don’t want cascades of hair falling from your scalp.

That about sums up what you need to know about wearing and taking care of lemonade braids.

Sure, you might not have a Pantene celebrity hairstylist on speed-dial to help you out, but this guide should cover the basics so that you can confidently rock your next look.

Remember to have fun and bring out your creative side with your lemonade braids.

Lemonade Braids Beyonce Collage
10 Ways To Grow Long Hair Without Protective Styles
Photo Credit: Instagram/naturalneiicey

By now I am sure you have heard a thousand times over about the benefits of protective styling. Sometimes you just want your hair to be free!

Yes, protective styles are definitely effective, but you can retain hair length with a low manipulation regimen, too.

Below you will find 10 Steps for Building a Low Manipulation Hair Routine.

I’m a big fan of styles with tons of volume and height, so for the most part I am actually not too fond of protective styles on my hair because they feel too flat.

Another important concern is that braids in particular can cause thinning of the hair if you are not carefully applying the appropriate amount of tension.

See: Do’s and Don’ts of Protective Styling with Braids

Which is why when I do protectively style my hair I go for a simple bun and if I have the time two strand twists. The truth is you’ll most likely retain more hair if you protective style your hair more frequently because your hair isn’t subject to as much manipulation and your ends won’t be exposed to as much damage.

However, if you prefer twist outs, braid outs, bantu knot outs or other set or protective styles more you can still retain a good amount of hair length.

10 Ways To Build a Low Manipulation Regimen:

Choose styles that do not require much combing or brushing to maintain. Go with a style that may only require adding a little bit of moisture, primp and go.

Detangle hair that is damp (not wet) to avoid breakage. For those who prefer to dry detangle make sure you apply a product that will give you some good slip to get through your hair. (You can check out this list of 10 Cheap Conditioners. They are perfect for dry detangling.) You may also want to try implementing Finger Combing or Finger Detangling for a more gentle approach.

Wash your hair in sections to cut down on tangles. (This is one of the tips I swear by to grow longer natural hair.)

Make sure to frequently deep condition your hair even if you choose to co-wash. This will help improve your hair’s manageability making detangling and styling easier. Here’s our top Deep Conditioner Picks.

If you notice that it’s time for a trim to get rid of split ends, go for it and do not delay! Split ends tend to cause the hair to tangle more easily. The longer you wait the more hair you’ll have to cut. More signs its time for a trim.

When you’re conditioning and moisturizing liberally apply product to your ends. The ends are the oldest and most fragile part of your hair requiring the most attention especially if you’re not protective style your hair often.

Your hair can get snagged on your clothing, so if you are wearing your hair out be mindful of your hair coming into contact with wool or cottons.

If you have hair that tangles easily you may want to opt for more stretched out or blown out styles to avoid breakage. You will find tips on how to heat stretch your hair without damage here.

Use a protein treatment for stronger hair with more resiliency so that it can withstand more manipulation. 5 Protein Deep Conditioners You Should Know

Moisturize even more. Since your hair is being worn out, it may not hold moisture has long as it would in a protective style. The L.O.C Method is the best way to moisturize during and after your wash process. But if it doesn’t work for you in that order try L.C.O or some other order.

SEE ALSO: 8 Things to Avoid When Protective Styling

Hair typically grows anywhere between 1/4 – 1/2 inch per month.

That’s approximately 3 – 6 inches of growth per year.

Unless you are suffering from a certain illness or on certain medications, you should expect this as your rate of growth, too!

Yep, that’s right your hair should grow 3 – 6 inches this year.

But only if you keep breakage and split ends at bay.

In other words, if you retain the length of your hair, you will see 3 – 6 inches of growth by the end of 2020.

A great way to chart your progress is do a length check around the 3 month period.

You should have 1/4 – 1/2 inch each month, a total of 3/4 – 1 1/2 inch every 3 months.

But if you’re not, here are some immediate things you can do:

  • Start taking a multivitamin
  • Trim your ends regularly
  • Assess your hair care routine

Nutrients is the key to supporting your overall health and this is also true for your hair.

I know trimming or cutting your hair can seem counterproductive if the goal is growth or length retention, but the fact is damaged, split ends travel up the hair shaft and cause big issues like frizz and breakage.

A balanced hair care routine will moisturize, hydrate, and repair/prevent breakage of the hair. It improves and maintains the health of your hair resulting in healthier hair that grows 3-6 inches, annually.

If you need help retaining the length of your hair, I have GROW IT, my bestselling masterclass, that will teach you how to grow and keep up to 6 inches of hair in less than a year.

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