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Hairstyling/Kinky and Relaxed Male Hair

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Question
I feel like trying out a new hairstyle. Sounds simple, but the thing is as an 18 year old black male I've got short kinky hair (it's about 2 inches long fully extended, and this is after growing it for 5 months), and I can't really do a lot with it (except for #1, which I absolutely hate). These were the hairstyles I was thinking about getting;

http://bit.ly/1c287RO
http://bit.ly/179G2Xr
http://bit.ly/19PWr7l
http://bit.ly/154L5Ua

Which seemed impossible. Especially with the hair I've got. And to be honest, if anyone had shown me that 6 months ago, I would have laughed in their face. But then, I stumbled across the same people with their hair like this;

http://bit.ly/1dBjiCH
http://bit.ly/16Xvr3u
http://bit.ly/19PWWhI
http://bit.ly/154MoTf

Which is basically what I've got, and if they can do change it so drastically then so can I right? So here are my questions (they might seem a bit random btw);

1) Are these guys relaxing their hair?

2) Is the length my hair's at @ the moment OK to relax it or does it need to be longer? If longer, how much more?

http://bit.ly/189xXix
http://bit.ly/1dBlNoD

3) Why does my hair seem to be growing so slowly? Because, 5 MONTHS...

4) Where do I go to get a relaxer? Because I don't trust myself/want to do it at home, but at the same time, a barber's isn't gonna do the job, so do I just go to a women's salon?

5)Does hair continue to grow after being relaxed? And does it grow straight or curly (I've just realized I'm heavily relying on the answer to Q1 being yes...)

6)If the hair in the photos is not relaxed, then my question is basically what did they do to it to change it so much?

7) Is shampooing my hair twice a week too much (apparently it dries out my hair), and how much should I condition it?

8) Which hairstyle do you think looks the best out of the ones I'm trying to achieve?

I'm sure I'll think of more questions as soon as I've sent this. Anyway, thanks in advance!

Nathan

P.S. Sorry about all the links. I've just seen the thing that says attach image.

Answer
Hiya Nathan,

Ok, so, I'm just going to put the number to your questions and give you answers.

1. Yes
2. You have plenty of length at this point to do a relaxer
3, You have what the good people at Mizani would call an 8 on their curl key. That's just fancy talk for very curly. It's the nature of the beast when it comes to how fast or slow it grows. That is determined by genetics, general health (your health) and condition of your hair. You can't really make  your hair grow faster but you can do things to prevent breakage. More on that when I get to the shampoo/conditioner questions. :c)
4. Salons aren't just for women. We are trained to work with hair. Gender is not an issue. So, to answer your question, yes. A salon will be a better choice than trying to do a relaxer at home or with a barber. :c)
5. Yes. Your hair will continue to grow. Here's the thing; your hair will grow back in it's natural state. The relaxer will straighten the hair but it's an external process. Hair growth is an internal process. So, the curl is determined in the follicle beneath the surface of the skin and scalp. The relaxer doesn't affect the internal process. So, as your hair grows, your ends will remain straight but the new growth will be curly and you will either need to relax the curly new growth or cut off the straight hair.
6. Straightening  irons and the proper products would get your hair pretty straight, however, at the length your hair is, that would be difficult to do. It would also be extremely time consuming.
7. Most people with hair as curly as yours only shampoo once a week and you need to condition every time you shampoo your hair. I am particularly fond of Mizani products and Dudley but you have many choices when it comes to curly hair.
8. I like all the styles but my least favorite is the 3rd one. No particular reason other than I like the other ones better.

No worries about the links. :c)

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Dana Sear

Expertise

I can answer questions on all types of hairstyling, cutting, designing, coloring, corrective color, perming techniques,product knowledge, and in general, anything that has anything to do with hair. PLEASE NOTE: I am a professional designer and trainer. I do hair and teach advanced classes to licensed designers. I do not, under any circumstances, recommend doing chemical services including but not limited to relaxers, perms, color, highlights, or any other chemical service at home. I will not tell you how to use professional products nor will I tell you how to do your color at home. What I CAN do is arm you with current and accurate information and help you to be able to better communicate with your stylist/designer. I can also help you with what you need to do at home to maintain, protect, and treat your hair.

Experience

I have been a designer and educator for 31 years. I have been a salon consultant for Redken, affiliate trainer for ABBA Pure and Natural, Director of Education for my own salon and am currently a member of the design team and advanced trainer for my company. I specialize in corrective color, perming and style support, and image updates (make overs)

Education/Credentials
I have been actively licensed for 31 years. I actively participate in and teach cutting, perming, coloring, and business building classes. I am a REDKEN Certified Haircolorist, and REDKEN Specialist. I also have extensive training in Structure in Motion Cutting Techniques and Tigi Cutting.

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