Tag Archives: down and out styles

Hair of (Last) Week: A Twist-Out to Remember

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Yeah, I know this is overdue *hangs head*. Okay, it’s after 1 am right now. I fell asleep on the couch. AGAIN. And woke up at almost midnight. Usually I would just get in bed … but I felt bad for being so delinquent about blogging that I’m staying up to write this recap quickly!!

PRE pre-poo. *lol*

PRE pre-poo. *lol*

The Saturday before last, wash day went down as follows:

  • Pre-poo with Vatika Oil (1 hour).
  • Shampooed with an oldie but goodie, DevaCare No Poo (diluted in water).
  • Detangled/conditioned with Herbal Essences Hello Hydration.
  • Deep conditioned with Darcy’s Botanical Pumpkin Seed Conditioner (1 hour w/heat).
  • Blotted hair damp with Curl Cloth.
  • Styled hair into 8 twists with Wonder Curl Butter Than Love Whipped on length and Get Set Jelly to control frizz and fly aways at roots.
  • Released twists while hair was still slightly damp (because I had the Wonder Curl Launch Party to attend) to fully air dry.

Okay, so I didn’t take any solo photos of my hair on that first day. But, Rece (A Hair Story) got a good one of the results, I think! LOL!!

Running my mouth as usual ;).

Running my mouth as usual ;). And yeah, I know. I still owe you guys that recap ;)!

The first pic above was Day 2 hair after re-twisting the night before. And here is day 4 hair (I was re-twisting nightly initially):

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And Day 8 hair (on Day 4, I started bunning at night as daily re-twisting puts too much stress on my fine strands and resulted in more breakage than I like to see):

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Oh, and here was the bun (and OOTD ;)) I wore the Friday before Day 8:

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Spring was finally in the air!!

My hair held up so well on over the course of the week (not overly tangled or stinky ;)), that I didn’t wash it this past weekend! Instead, I experimented with a dry twist out and a new product that I picked up at Tarjay over the weekend!!

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For those of you who follow me on Facebook and Instagram, you already know what it was ;). The rest of you will have to check me out on one of those outlets or stay tuned for the next post, which will reveal the “mystery” product that gave me the results above!

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So, here’s a question. I found that re-twisting nightly put too much strain on my hair, but left it looking great. So, I’m wondering:

Do you re-twist or re-braid nightly to preserve a style? If so, how would you describe your hair in terms of strand thickness (fine, medium, thick)? And, how does your hair fare with this technique?

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Dry TnC with Small Perm Rods

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I was going to call this, “Curly ‘Fro: Take Two” (see “take one” here). However, this time it reeeeeally looked nothing like a ‘fro and turned out very similar to my old Twist n’ Curl (TnC) … so, yeah.

Anywho, as you know, last week I attended the CurlyNikki Curl Power Event. I decided that I wanted to try a hybrid of the MahoganyCurls and PGneiicey methods of creating a curly ‘fro.

I hit Sally’s on Tuesday night for more perm rods. My intent originally was to get more grey rods as I thought that I might not have enough. Instead, when I got to Sally’s, I saw the slightly larger pink ones and decided to get those as I wanted bigger hair than I achieved the last time. And, get this, the perm rods were on sale 2 for $3!!!!

CF_permrodsThe rods on the right are shorter, although the labeling is no different.
I got the shorter ones for my front as they only had 3 bags of the longer rods.

Once I got home, I got to work:

  • Started with dry hair that had been in twists for a day and a twist-out for a day.
  • Finger detangled dry hair in about 10 sections with my coconut oil whip. Y’all … this part took FOREVER, mostly because of my nape area which has been knotting and tangling badly :(. Once I detangled each section, I twisted it.
  • Starting from the back and moving forward, I applied a dab of Shea Moisture Raw Shea Restorative Conditioner and a dab of Eco Styler Olive Oil Gel to a small sections.

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  • Then, I twisted to about halfway down the length of my hair and set the whole length on a perm rod wrapped in end paper (the end paper prevents my hair from snagging and tearing out when the rods are removed).

All set and concerned ... "Please don't let me look like Soul Glo!!!"CF7CF10

  • I used a total of 28 rods, so only 2 1/3 bags of rods, to set my hair and it took THREE HOURS!! Ughhhh!!

As y’all know, as I was applying the product, my hair was looking soooo stringy. I had a flashback on CurlyNikki’s WnG experience with it. Remember that? If not, see here. F’reals … I was definitely afraid that I would end up looking like Randy Watson!!

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Fortunately, all was right with the world when I removed the rollers and released the twists the next day :). So, here is the tale in pics and the final results.

(Click pics to enlarge and read full captions.)

So, I was very pleased, even though my hair didn’t end up being as big as I would have liked. I was really surprised at how soft of a set the Eco Styler Olive Oil gel provided!! I’ll be trying this again, but on damp hair with the smaller grey rods. But I won’t be doing that for a minute as my hair really needs a break from being worn down. The cold winter and all this friction from rubbing against my coat and clothes has been doing a number on my nape and I ain’t got time for all of that.

Oh, and as to day 2 hair? Well, I twisted it into four big twists on Wednesday night, so those Shirley Temple like curls didn’t last long. I had bigger waves … but, you know, I was feeling it!!

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Do you use Eco Styler Gel for styling? Which one is your favorite? How do you use them?

Dry Braid n’ Curl with Coconut Oil Whip

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Seriously, a hair blog is the best diary! I’m not really consistent in the products that I use to style. I’ll just grab whatever is tickling my fancy at the moment. And, there are times when I remember getting great results from a product, but have no clue what I used! Enter Hairscapades the blog! LOL!! I am almost always able to find the picture and post with details of my styling and products to help me recreate the look as closely as possible. I mean, it’s rarely EXACTLY the same. But, I can get close.

Anywho, Wei and I had plans this weekend, which included a trip to a movie screening in NYC and meeting more of his family! So, you know I wanted to look nice. However, as we went out to dinner on Friday night to celebrate the anniversary of our engagement, I didn’t have time to wash my  hair (and I didn’t wash it all this weekend). Therefore, I decided a dry braid n’ curl (BnC) was in order and wanted to recreate the fluffy  look I had when I did my hair for the Katie Couric Show in Janaury (see it here).

So, I re-read Getting Ready: Hair√, Face√, Clothes√ and did essentially the same thing.

Dry BnC Set

  • Gently finger detangled hair with my coconut oil whip (I am LOVING this stuff!!);
  • Applied Wonder Curl Get Set Hair Jelly at the root of each section to smooth and set hair, then braided;
  • Set hair in 10 braids total (2 on each side in the front; 3 on each side in back);
  • Dampened each braid with water by wetting my hands and smoothing and squishing the water down the braids;
  • Applied Deva Curl Set It Free on the ends of each braid and set them on grey perm rods (I set about an inch or two of my ends to make certain they stayed curly as they tend to get flattened when I sleep);
  • Donned my Blensblend silk bonnet and hit the sack.

And these were the results on Saturday.

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Yeah, I definitely prefer BnCs over TnCs now. I just think they give me more uniform results. Also think my hair doesn’t tangle as much.

I think the flaxseed cream gel that I used on wash day was reactivated by the water and helped provide some nice hold and definition too!! One thing you may notice is my glaring grey roots. It’s really time for a henna treatment and I was hoping to do one on Sunday, but it didn’t happen. TouchBack Marker to the rescue!!

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Let me tell you, that thing is really a great pinch hitter when I can’t henna!! The other great thing about it is that I’ve had it since last summer and it is still as effective as when I first purchased it. It hasn’t dried out and the color hasn’t faded! Love the longevity. Given the price, that was an important factor for me re-purchasing it in the future.

So yeah, I’ll definitely be using the marker to touch-up those greys for the CurlyNikki Curly NYC event on Wednesday!!  I think I might try something a little different and set it dry for a curly ‘fro a la Mahogany Curls!! (Time to hit Sally’s as I don’t think I have enough perm rods! I also want to see if “my” Sofn’Free Nothing But Mold and Hold Wax is on the shelves yet!!)

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Anyone else going to the CurlyNikki Curl Power event with Chrisette Michelle this Wednesday?! If so, what are you doing with your hair?! Hope to see some of you there!!

My WnG Results

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I’m smiling in the above pic, because I finally got my hair to look the way that I wanted! Also, I promised a reader in the comments a few posts back, that I would try to figure out how to take pics of myself smiling without looking like a weirdo ;)! *lol*

WASH ROUTINE

Pre-Poo:
So, here’s how I got here. On Saturday morning, I pre-pooed with a mix of Aubrey GPB conditioner and Vatika oil. I finger-detangled my hair in 8 sections and twisted each section when I was done. Then, I applied Wild Growth Hair Oil (WHGO) to my scalp and massaged it in for several minutes (Ahhhhh, that felt good!). It took a good  1 1/2 to 2 hours to pre-poo given that I’d been wearing a progressively shrinking WnG all week. The worst sections were where the coarsest, curliest and finest of my strands met the straightest and thickest of my strands in the section above my nape. I think this is because this area experiences the most friction and movement as it rubs and bunches up against my neck and clothes.

Prior to pre-pooing. The curls are back maaaan!!

Womp, womp. There’s that pesky, straight nape again.

Aubrey GPB Conditioner & Vatika Oil pre-poo.

One side done.

Once I finished oiling my scalp, I secured the twists at my crown with a jaw clip, donned a baggie and then the Heat Therapy Wrap, which I left on for about 2 hours or so.

Shampoo:
Then, I hopped in the shower and shampooed with diluted DevaCare No Poo. However, the hair near my scalp was still very slick and oily from the WGHO :(. So, I diluted Aubrey Green Tea Shampoo, which is sulfate free but sudsing, and washed my scalp again. This is the second time I’ve used this shampoo and, unfortunately, I think it causes my hair to get matted and tangled. So, I don’t see it becoming a staple. I’m going to investigate the other Aubrey options to see if one of the other shampoos might work better for me as I would like to include more natural products in my regimen, if I can.

Conditioning & Detangling:
So, after shampooing, I began detangling with the Aubrey Green Tea Cream Rinse. But, after my second twist, I decided to switch to a thicker conditioner that I’d just picked up from Harmon a week or so prior: Suave Naturals Tropical Coconut. I had run out of Herbal Essences Hello Hydration (HE HH) during my last henna treatment and knew that a lot of people love this conditioner, plus it was super cheap … like, less than $2 a bottle. I LOVE the smell … like piña colada!! I applied about a palmful of conditioner to each twist and then proceeded to detangle. Ummmm … color me unimpressed with the slip. It was okay, but it definitely isn’t unseating HE HH.

After I finished detangling, which was no small feat, I rinsed the Suave Naturals Conditioner and then applied Aubrey Green Tea Cream Rinse as a final conditioner before rinsing with cool/cold water.

STYLING:

Leave-in:
After I hopped out of the shower, I released all of the twists and applied Sally’s GVP Infusium 23 Leave-in Treatment with a spray bottle. Then, I combed it through my hair with … wait for it … my shower comb! You know I’m not one for combs, but I was given the advice to comb my leave-in through my hair with a wide tooth comb long ago and it resulted in far less matted tangles on wash day. So, I decided to do it … this time. From now on, I think I’ll stick with thorough finger detangling. My curls looked so nicely clumped before I used the comb!

Styling:
Anywho, after combing through the leave-in conditioner, I proceeded to section my hair into a top front section, two sides in the front and two sides in the back. Then, I worked from the back to the front, making smaller sections and raking and shaking Lots of Curls gel mixed with Carol’s Daughter Healthy Hair Butter through them (see Ouidad’s Rake & Shake video tutorial here if you missed it last week).

I allowed my hair to air dry for a while. Eventually, I had to pineapple it with a satin scrunchy, while it was still slightly damp, for bed. I didn’t wrap the scrunchy at all, so it was very loose so as not to create a crease in my curls.

See, I tried styling into a side part ;)!

But, I didn’t like the way it looked. So I moved the part back to the center! *lol*

My damp, styled curls.

I slept without a bonnet on my satin pillowcase and the next morning, my hair was still damp in one section. There were a couple of small frizzy areas, so I dampened them with some more leave-in conditioner and applied a little more gel and butter. Once it was almost completely dry, I applied a little Aveda Brilliant Anti-Humectant Pomade to my hair by gathering it like I was going to make a low ponytail and smoothing the pomade down the length.

It was okay, but I wanted more volume. After seeing how my hair got bigger each day when I pineappled it, I figured that might be the way to “pump up the volume.” So, after running a few errands, I got home and put my hair up into the high ponytail again and left it that way for a couple of hours. Then, I released and … voilà! Bigger hair!

The pineapple seems to give my hair more lift at the crown to give me the fullness that I want, instead of flat head ;).

So, that’s my WnG. I hope to film it soon, but wanted to see how it went first before attempting to videotape it. Also, that would have added more time to the process and I was just trying to get it done ;)! *lol*

Anywho, I’m hoping that my hair will continue to shrink and grow every day like it did last week.

Welp, that’s it for this pic heavy post!

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You know what time it is!! What did you do with your hair this weekend?

AVJ to Seal Revisited

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Last week, my aloe vera juice (AVJ) to seal experiment didn’t go so well. I suspected that this was due to my concurrent plopping experiment (see here if you missed it). So, this past Saturday, I decided to try it again. Here is how wash days (yes days, that’s not a typo) went.

  • On Thursday night, I pre-pooed and finger detangled with Vatika oil, placing my hair in 6 twists. I donned a baggie and hit the sack.
  • Friday morning, I placed the twists in a low bun and slicked the edges with some Sofn’Free Mold & Hold Wax for work.
  • Friday night, I untwisted each section, applied Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose conditioner directly over the Vatika oil and retwisted. Again, I donned a baggie and hit the sack.
  • Saturday morning, I hit the shower and washed with the last of the Terressentials Mud Wash (TMW) Left Coast Lemon. I untwisted each section, one by one, to wash and then re-twisted.
  • I got out of the shower and finger combed, then used a wide tooth comb, to detangle each section.
  • Finally, after I combed each section, I raked Kinky Curly Knot Today (KCKT) through it, then AVJ.

My hair took about 4-5 hours to fully dry, but it was huge once done!

Now, a few observations and additional notes.

  1. I am really digging this dry hair deep conditioning before washing as it means I don’t have to get back in the shower or use the sink to wash the DC!!
  2. My hair was very tacky when I used the TMW this time. It was tacky during the wash and the post wash detangling session, which is why I resorted to the wide tooth comb after finger detangling. Last week I used the DevaCare No Poo and my hair detangled like a breeze. Not sure if it was the products I used this past week, but I did NOT like the feel of my hair. I will say that I didn’t use any conditioner after washing and I also didn’t do a cool water rinse. So, the omission of those steps may have impacted my results. Next week, I’ll try this again with the TMW Lavender Garden and a cool final rinse to see if I have the same problem. I’m trying to eliminate the rinse-out conditioner step to see if I can use the TMW alone.
  3. I should have re-wet each section of my hair prior to applying the leave-in and AVJ as my hair was only barely damp by the time I got to the right side. Fran indicated her hair has to be very wet to get the best results.
  4. Once my hair was fully dry, I used a little JBCO to smooth and seal as I felt my hair looked too dry without a little oil.
  5. Before bed, I oiled my scalp with Wild Growth Hair Oil (white bottle) and applied a tiny amount of the Wild Growth Light (yellow bottle) to the length. Then, I placed my hair in 8 twists and put on my satin bonnet for bed.
  6. On Sunday, I used some Eco Styler Olive Oil gel, a satin scrunchie and a few bobby pins to place my hair into a big, low bun. I’ll probably wear it in a bun the rest of the week, unless I have time to put it in twists.

In other news, last week was a complete fail in regard to my exercise and diet regimen. It was a very sad week due to an unexpected and deeply impactful loss. I had time to work-out, but I just didn’t do it out of stress and emotional exhaustion. I really need to stop allowing those things to take me off the course though, as exercise often helps one cope with stress and it’s just another excuse. Well, today is another day to get it right.

Finally, I saw Avengers this weekend … TWICE!!! OMGosh, no spoilers, but it did NOT disappoint! If you are a comics/cartoon/superhero fan, I think that you’ll probably enjoy it. I can be the harshest of critics with these type of movies, but I was very pleased. Guess that’s no surprise since I already said that I saw it twice … and on the same day. I think it falls somewhere between X1 (about which I was mostly ambivalent) and X2 (which I LOVED). That’s all I’ll say as I don’t want to give anything away for those who haven’t seen it yet. But, if you haven’t seen it yet … what are you waiting for??? Oh, wait, I do have one more thing to say … stay until the end of the credits. That is all.

Dang, I forgot to show my Avengers ID! I might have gotten in for free!!

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What have you tried, tried and tried again in order to get it right? And, did you see Avengers yet? 

Versatility

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I just love the versatility of natural hair. I was especially aware of it this week when I went from twists to a tame twist-out to a huge twist-out and back to a twisted-bun in less than 24 hours without washing my hair or using any heat and with minimal product, time and effort.

(I used a sock bun in the last two pics)

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Do you find your natural hair versatile? Do you prefer to stick with the tried and true or are you a switch up artist?

Botticelli Botanicals: How To

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I suspected that Erin of Botticelli Botanicals was a kindred spirits after reading her first reply message to me (if you missed that, see this post here). When I asked her to explain how she uses her products and I received the very detailed response, I knew it for sure!! LOL!!

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Erin of Botticelli Botanicals

I have an inkling that whomever it was that first said “the devil is in the details” must have had curly hair, and was most likely referring to their routine! I kid, I kid…I love my curly hair! But seriously, as many of you already know, details, nuances in the things each of us do, and even what’s available locally have a lot to do with how our hair looks every day. If you do one little thing differently – either skipping one step, or adding another – it can really make a dramatic difference in the outcome, sometimes for the better…sometimes not so much. It all depends on the individual!

That said, Shelli asked me to write for you guys how I use my own products, and what techniques I use to get my hair looking (and feeling!) the way it does. Because to me, using a natural product means nothing if your hair still feels unnatural, so not only does it have to look great, but it’s gotta move, and it’s gotta be as touchable as it looks! Get ready curls, we’re going in…

Washing and Conditioning:
My first step is in the shower, I shampoo with my Meringue – about a three finger scoop for my mid back, thick hair is all I need. I massage my scalp well, but never pile my curls on top of my head, which we all (hopefully) know is a big no-no. I use the pads of my fingers to firmly massage my scalp in small circles and zigzags, making sure to cover every square inch of follicles, even up to the hairline. Then I firmly push the suds back, down the length of my hair, squeezing it into the ends before rinsing well.

Here’s something that’s probably gonna mess with some heads and make you read back to see if I put this is in the right order, and I promise you, I did. After I shampoo, BEFORE conditioning, I wet brush out any tangles. Now, I see you looking at the screen with your one eye bugged and the other one scrunched up like Popeye, but I swear, after using Meringue as my only shampoo for about eight months, and the rest of my products for just over three years, I have ZERO cuticle lift (hooray for sulfate and silicone free!), and being able to detangle just after shampooing and before applying any conditioner is a whole heap of proof for me.

So after I wet brush out my tangles, I apply about a ping pong ball sized squirt of Smoothie and smooth it all over my head, then scrunch it into the ends until I feel like it’s all the way down to my scalp. At this point, I go about my other showering duties and let it sit while I shave, etc. After about two or three minutes, my hair has soaked up a lot of it, and what’s left rinses clean and easy. After using Smoothie every time I wash my hair for about two years now, I don’t have the need to do deep treatments anymore, unless I feel like killing time with a gooped up head just for the fun of it … which I don’t often feel like doing with a five year old wanting me to play with her!

Styling:
Now, don’t freak. I use a terrycloth towel to dry my hair. I know, I know … I tried microfiber, and I hated the way it felt, and I didn’t see a difference in the overall result, so I decided I was just gonna keep going the same route as I always have there. The thing I changed was, I never EVER rub my hair. All I do is, I squeeze the excess water out of my hair before I step out of the shower, and then I gently flip my head down, scrunch the ends to absorb drips, and turban it. No scrubbing, no rubbing, and no over-manipulation – I don’t flip it down repeatedly or swing it back and forth, and I don’t finger comb it downward, because that just ends up making tangles later for me. So for me, the only thing my towel does is catch drips, so I might as well use something absorbent.

I only leave my hair in the turban long enough to finish drying off and get dressed – pretty much long enough to absorb any drips that might want to form later if I didn’t wait those few minutes. Then, I let my hair down and grab my trusty Denman D5, brushing all of my hair back into a smooth sheet and finding where my hair wants to part, separating and brushing the direction I want my hair to dry overall, though it won’t stay exactly where I put it … you knew that already though, didn’t you? *wink* Of course, Denman makes a wide variety of brushes with the same overall style – different number of rows, spacing, etc, so I’d be surprised if there wasn’t a Denman brush that worked for every hair type in existence.

Now, at this point, I use about three palmfuls of Styling Mudd, one for each side and one in the back, maybe more if my hair feels thirsty in any one spot. I rub it in my hands, then I smooth and finger rake it through, making sure to coat my hair all the way to the ends.

“Missed” Step and Styling Tips:
Let me take a second to clear something up, in case you all are thinking I missed a step. I don’t use leave-in conditioners. Some people HAVE to use one, or at least they think they do. For me, I find that using a leave-in with either my Mudd or Gelee actually keeps my styler from doing its best work, by not allowing a cast to form properly over each curl as it dries. Leaving conditioner in tends to make my hair either gummy or dirty feeling, or it keeps the curl too moist to allow it to dry properly, giving me poor curl formation once my hair is dry.

That said, I have been told numerous times that my Smoothie is an awesome leave-in conditioner, if you hair tends to like one. But if you do use a leave-in with my products and it just doesn’t do what you expected, try it again, but leave out the leave-in. You might be surprised at how few products you can get by on when your products don’t dry or damage your hair to begin with.

Let me pause here to say that I believe these next parts to be some of the most important and un-skippable steps in my entire routine, because of the consistent results it has produced for me in the past.

Once my hair feels fairly saturated with Mudd, I brush it through with my Denman until my hair looks and feels like a big wavy sheet of seaweed, and then I lean over to one side, opening my hand to form a big comb with my fingers. I gently slide my fingers into my hair and lift up at a slight angle as I separate the big sheets of waves into smaller curls. This promotes more uniform frizz free clumps for me, as well as giving my thick, heavy hair some much needed root lift without the need to clip. Then, I lean to the other side and do the same again, separating and lifting. At this point, I smooth the ends of my curls between my palms so that each of them is clumped somewhere and not randomly flying around loose. Then I begin to scrunch my hair gently up towards my scalp, cradling a large handful and squeezing about a dozen times per handful, working it until I hear that telltale “skoosh”… yeah, you curlies know that sound, dontcha? Anyway, I do that all over, paying special attention to the curls with the weakest pattern, which for me is the ones framing my face.

Once I’ve scrunched with my bare hands to return those fat little clumps to curls, I use a clean floursack towel and scrunch gently all over to remove excess water and Mudd and, more importantly, to begin to set the curls so that they dry that way. Again, I pay special attention to my weak pattern areas here. Remember – if it looks wonky when it’s wet, it’s gonna look wonky when it’s dry, too. Now is the time to arrange your curls, and then you don’t get to touch them for awhile.

Drying Curls:
At this point, there are options. Most days I shower in the evenings and let my hair air dry while I play on the computer once my daughter has gone to bed. Other times, I feel like plopping to get a really fat, shrunken curl pattern with buckets of volume, but it does make my hair about 3-4 inches shorter. If I am going to plop though, I do it overnight because anything less than that just doesn’t take with my super thick hair. As it is, if I air dry, it takes about 6-8 hours, and even then my crown is usually still pretty damp.

The last option is one I only use in a dire emergency simply because for me, it just doesn’t turn out as good, and I hate what the heat does to my hair. But, I do have an ionic dryer with a bowl diffuser that I use only on warm, low speed with lots and lots and LOTS of coolshots. If I use the dryer, I always pixiecurl. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s a method of diffusing that keeps frizz to a minimum with very little effort. You basically position a section of your hair in the diffuser bowl before you turn the dryer on and only move the dryer to another area of your head once you’ve turned it off and the air isn’t moving. By not actually “blowing” your curls around, your clumps stay together better and thus, they dry with much less frizz. But like I said, I rarely use this option, and almost all of the pics you’ll see of my hair these days is the morning (or afternoon) after I washed my hair and air dried.

So since I’m an evening showerer, my hair is usually still a little damp when I go to bed. All I do is put it in a pineapple and flip it up over my pillow (nope, no satin case!) and crash out. Take note – this is nothing special for me – I pineapple every night, pretty much without fail. I use metal free elastics for super thick hair, and I only wrap it around once, so it holds, but it’s not tight at all. You’re going for volume and root lift, not a dent!

When I wake up in the morning, I don’t always take the pineapple down right away – sometimes I make breakfast and coffee or whatever first, and it might be an hour or more before I take it down. Once I do though, I have one of two things at the ready – either a hair butter like my Lime in the Coconut, or if my hair is feeling particularly dry, I might beef up my moisture with some Brulee instead. I will say that I normally use a butter, but the Brulee is a great option for the days that it feels like my hair just needs to be really fat. Yes, I said it … fat hair. So I use about a macadamia nut-size amount of whatever Butter I happen to be using that day or, if I’m using Brulee maybe an almond-size bit, rub it well in my hands and then smooth it down my canopy and scrunch into the ends. I smooth it into the hair around my face and sandwich my ends between my hands pulling downward to coat them well.

Last, I do the ponytail scrunch – pull all of your hair back gently like you’re going to put it in a ponytail, gently scrunching the whole thing all the way down the length of your hair from root to tip. Then let go, give it a little shake, and step back and admire the results in the mirror!

Wow, I know that looks like a lot of stuff when you look at it, but I promise, it’s actually not that intensive – maybe 30 minutes every other day is about all I put into it. I took special care to point out details here, so that anyone trying to figure out their hair could try my routine and hopefully come to their own conclusions about what works for them. Of course this isn’t the only way to use my products. This is just how I use them personally in my routine.

After covering all of that in what was probably more detail than you thought you needed, I do have one more point to cover. A lot of people come to me looking for hard or stiff hold, convinced that it’s the only way they’ll ever see the results they want from their hair. But I am living proof that treating your hair well with the right products can tighten your curl pattern. When I started my journey a little over three years ago, my hair was a forced, suffocated, sulfated and siliconed 2c. It was stringy and limp and I struggled to get that 2c!

Now, after using more natural products on a regular basis, my hair is a solid 3b without much effort at all and without tons of cement-hard hold. It’s a TOUCHABLE 3b, which means more to me than just having it look good. But that’s the kicker – it looks good, too! So don’t be fooled – hard hold and gluing your hair into place should not be confused with the illusion of a stronger curl pattern, because if it washes out, it was never yours to begin with. Treat your hair well and it’ll do the same to you – it’s worth it in the long run!

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Botticelli Botanicals giveaway to be announced tomorrow!!