Daily Archives: November 28, 2011

2 1/2 Days Left for Deals!

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November is almost over! So, if you haven’t done so already, don’t miss your opportunity to take advantage  of this month’s giveaway and discounts!

Click here for details on how you can enter to win a  Wonder Curl sampler kit, which includes my TnC staple, Butter Than Love!

Click here for a special 10% off discount code for the Etsy shop, Threadmill.

Click here for a special 20% off discount code for Doris New York.

What great Christmas gifts for family and friends … or better yet, yourself ;)!!

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Bohemian Dutch & Fishtail Braided Style (Video)

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I promised that I’d be back with a video tutorial of this style, so here it is! Hope that you like it! Please be forgiving of the editing as it was my first time using iMovie  and I tried three new things: adding pics to the video, merging two videos and fast forwarding (with muting)! I need to learn how to add music to the fast forwarded sections and I probably should have put pictures of the finished style at the end too, but overall, I’m very proud of my efforts:)!  If you enjoy the tutorial, please “like” it and/or comment to let me know that all my hard work wasn’t for naught ;)! Thank you!

Oh, and if you still want me to do a video of the other style pictured here, just let me know in the comments. There’s a disclaimer though, I might have to do it on Afro puffy twists! 

Countdown to a Blow-Out

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10/3/12: As we just entered the fall season, I’ve been contemplating straightening my hair more and more. Still not there, especially as it’s been so overcast. But, I figure some of you may be contemplating the same thing. So, here is Part I or two posts that I did last fall when I decided to blow-out my hair.

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I was a busy little bee this weekend, hitting three different stores (one twice), in order to get the items I needed for my impending blow-out. I made the appointment for my Afro puffy twists for this week and I was finally faced with the fact that I needed to make some decisions about my hair prep. I read CurlyNikki’s post on Flat Ironing Tips and recognized the importance of the right products, good techniques and the proper tools. I’d been ruminating over what heat protectant to use and whether I would use a blow dryer, use a comb attachment, try the tension method, braid, twist or attempt a roller set to stretch … decisions, decisions! The initial plan was to use the ElastaQP Silk Design Silk Thermal Styling Spray I already have under the sink and the Ion blow dryer and a comb attachment that I haven’t used since President Obama was inaugurated three years ago! However, as I thought about it and how I’m so much more aware of the potential for heat damage and have so many resources at my fingertips, I realized that I could do better.

So, I proceeded to do some research while standing in Harmon in front of 4 shelves full of hair dryers (I know you shouldn’t love an inanimate object. I know this. But, I love my iPhone). I googled my Ion blow dryer because I had no memory of whether it was tourmaline or ceramic or ionic (Ion … yeah, probably that last one) or some combination thereof. Well, in my search, I came across this very informative (though somewhat discouraging) article on the “benefits” of “hi-tech” hair dryers:

via Consumer Search:

Today’s blowers offer a bounty of options, all promising softer, shiner, healthier hair. It’s hard to find a hair dryer without the words “ceramic,” “ionic” or “tourmaline” in the name, but critics are unsure whether these features actually make for a better dryer or not.

Ionic hair dryers emit molecules with a positive or negative charge to dry hair. Instead of taking the air from a room and heating it like old-school hair dryers, ionic products use negative ions to shrink water droplets in the hair. Manufacturers say this helps wet hair dry faster with less heat damage — making for a smoother and shinier mane. Unfortunately, the science behind the claims is sketchy. There’s “little science to either prove or disprove this claim,” says Bill Nazaroff, professor of environmental engineering at the University of California at Berkeley, in a Wall Street Journal article.

The article goes on to say that though manufacturers tout that dryers using ceramic, ionic or tourmaline technologies result in speedier drying times, shinier hair and less heat damage, there isn’t much scientific evidence to support these claims. Regardless, and helpfully, the article didn’t discount these features entirely. Rather, additional research was conducted based upon professional and consumer reviews found via various sources. This information was used to compile a list of the Best Hair Dryers with these “high tech features” and ranked them from the most economical choices to the more expensive:

  1. Revlon RV544 Tourmaline Ionic hair dryer (Approx. $20)
  2. Conair Infiniti Tourmaline Ceramic Ionic Styler 223X (Approx. $35)
  3. Conair Infiniti Professional Tourmaline Ceramic Ionic Styler 213X (Approx. $35)
  4. T3 Tourmaline Professional Featherweight(Approx. $175)
  5. Featherweight Luxe (Approx. $250)
  6. CHI Rocket Professional (Approx. $135)
  7. CHI Nano Dual Air Flow Ceramic (Approx. $140)
  8. Elchim 2001 Professional(Approx. $120)
  9. Sedu Ultrapower Professional (Approx. $150)

The awesome, but horrible thing? Almost every single one of these dryers was on the shelves at Harmon!! LOL! Ultimately, I decided on #2 as it was very reasonably priced, apparently effective and I liked the style. Consumer Search had this to say about it:

The … Conair Infiniti Tourmaline Ceramic Ionic Styler 223X has been named an InStyle Magazine Best Beauty Buy three years in a row (though we aren’t sure what criteria are used in awarding that status). It offers some of the same features found in many higher-priced blow dryers. It includes three heat settings and two speed settings as well as a cool-shot button; a soft finger diffuser, which allows you to get closer to the scalp for better hair-sculpting control; and a concentrator attachment, which is designed to direct airflow for styling purposes. The Conair 223X also has a removable filter to prevent lint build-up and comes with a three-year limited warranty.

The reason that I was at one store twice? I ran home to get about four 20% off coupons for Bed, Bath and Beyond (you can use these at Harmon!!) and one $5 coupon for Harmon as I was having a PJ moment and picked up several hair and make-up items too (you can thank ShamIAmGlam for fanning the make-up PJ flames;).

Ultimately, I only paid $28 (plus tax) for the dryer. Score!! I also picked up the “ionic” comb as I needed a medium-tooth comb for detangling. So, what was next? Research on a good heat protectant. Again, I was initially planning on using the ElastaQP Thermal Design Spray that I already owned and some grapeseed oil, which some tout as a natural heat protectant because it can sustain heat up to 420°. Then, I thought about someone who regularly rocked gorgeous straight hair during the winter. MopTopMaven!! I remember reading several posts from her last year and commenced to searching. I came across four really good articles that she did on straightening hair and one that was specific to blow drying natural hair.

via MopTopMaven:

Going Straight for Winter

6 Techniques for Easy Breezy Blow Drying

How to Prevent/Recover from Heat Damage

Help My Pressed Hair Never Stays Straight

As the search for a good heat protectant was what prompted my search, I was particularly interested in Mop Top Maven’s recommendation on this front. I hit pay dirt with her article, Going Straight for Winter, as she outlined every product in her straight hair regimen. When I read that she loved Aveda Brilliant Damage Control as her heat protectant, I knew that was it as I always read great things about this line and knew of a local salon that carries it. So I headed over and picked it up … along with the CurlyNikki approved Brilliant Anti-Humectant Pomade (I couldn’t resist even though I’ll have no use for it until Spring!!).

Back to the product search. Also in MopTopMaven’s straight hair product line-up were Fermodyl 619 (leave-in) and Sebastian Potion #9 (leave-in/styler). I decided to hit Sally’s as I knew that they had a GVP version of Potion #9 and thought that I’d seen the Fermodyl there before as well. Sure enough, I hit the mother-load here too and picked up both items.

So now, I feel that I am thoroughly prepared with both products, techniques and tools. My blow-out regimen will be as follows:

  • Cleanse thoroughly with a diluted sulfate shampoo (clarify).
  • Apply ApHogee 2 Minute Keratin Reconstructor (strengthen).
  • Deep condition with cool & seal technique (moisture).
  • Thoroughly rinse with cool/cold water.
  • Section hair into 6 sections (2 in back and 1 in front on each side).
  • Apply Roux Fermodyl 619 to each section using spray bottle (porosity corrector/detangler/leave-in).
  • Apply small amount of GVP Potion #9 to each section (moisture and wearable treatment/styler).
  • Apply Aveda Brilliant Damage Control to each section (heat protection).
  • For each of prior 3 steps, comb hair with fingers, then wide tooth comb, then medium tooth comb (detangling).
  • Comb through each section with fine-tooth comb and set hair in 6 twists total.
  • Secure roots with large doobie pins and roll ends on medium/large purple flexi-rods.
  • Use tension method to blow dry hair to stretched state.

I plan on doing this over the course of two days and completed all but the last step on Sunday night. I may have to dampen my hair slightly to do a blow-out to stretch it further. However, knowing my hair, it might not be entirely dry, even after a full 24 hours! So, we’ll see if the wetting step is necessary.

And that’s that. It was a lot of research and store hopping, but I feel a lot more confident that I can do this without causing appreciable heat or manipulation damage. I’ll keep you all apprised of the final results and will have those product reviews for you too! Go team natural ;)!!

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How do you protect your hair during heat styling? What products, techniques and tools do you use?