Operation Blow-Out: Mission Accomplished

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10/3/12: And this is Part II.

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It was a success! At least, in my eyes it was:). I’ll admit, I thought that my hair would be straighter and even contemplated getting my comb attachment with the broken teeth out of the donation bag in the car (hmmm, now that I think about it, pretty sure I threw it in the trash while cleaning the house yesterday. Given its damaged state, that would make sense ;)). However, as this was my first time attempting the tension technique blow-out and I wasn’t going for bone straight … yeah, this will work!!

So, I’ll give you a recap of my prep, which I outlined yesterday in Countdown to a Blow-Out:

  • 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.

After I finished that last step, I tied on a hair net, then a bonnet and hit the sack. I had to drive for about 2 hours to my home office and allowed my twists to dry further during the commute. When I arrived at the office, I pulled them back with a ponytail holder and folded them up into a twisted bun for the workday.

In the evening, I began the blow-out process. My initial plan was to dampen each section with a little more Aveda Damage Control, diluted at a 1:4 ratio with distilled water in a small spray bottle, then blow dry. However, after the first couple of sections, I realized that it was making my hands and hair sticky. So, I just began to dampen my hands with water, smooth them along the section I was working and then blow dry. All in all, I think that the product combination worked very well. The thing with blow-outs and flat-ironing is that I think you almost want your hair to feel naked as oils, butters and creams will weigh it down and make it greasy. My hair felt “clean” of this type of weight and sturdy. I think that I could have gone directly to a pressing comb or flat-iron if it had been my goal to wear my hair straight. And, if I ever want to do that, I will definitely follow all of the steps above and use the same products (with no need for a blow-out). So, that was definitely a learning for me.

Back to the blow-out. I worked my hair in sections using the twists as my guides. I used the concentrator attachment, the medium heat setting and  high speed. I broke each twist into 3 or 4 sections total for the process. Once I dried a couple of sections, I smoothed an itty, bitty smidgen of Carol’s Daughter Healthy Hair Butter (CD HHB) down the hair and then moved to the next section. It took me about 2 1/2 hours to finish the blow-out. But, I was stopping to take pictures, flat iron a section, rubber-band sections, etc. I was definitely taking my time. I realized two things as I worked. First, it was better to tilt the concentrator in a downward angle (towards the ends of the hair) while drying as it made the hair lay smoother (versus pointing the concentrator in a straight 90º angle at hair). Second, I realized that I should use the “cool blast” on the dryer after getting hair to the straightness that I wanted, in order to set it.

Now, I’ll give a brief review of the new products, tools and techniques.

Conair Infiniti Tourmaline Ceramic Ionic Styler 223X: I really liked this dryer! It was lightweight and easy to handle. There is nothing worse than a cumbersome hair tool and I didn’t have any problem with maneuvering this dryer. The medium heat setting was warm without being hot. The buttons were secure so that I wasn’t changing settings as I was trying to dry my hair (I had that problem with my old Ion dryer). The location/placement of the “cool shot” button was intuitive, so it was very easy to use. Oh, and did I mention? This dryer has a cord-keeper! So, the majority of the cord whips right on up into the dryer handle, making it a breeze to store without using rubberbands or twistie ties. And, you know how cords become all twisted around other articles or on themselves, damaging the inner wires? Yup, don’t think that will be a problem here! I will say this though, the cord is rather short. So, that might be a concern for some who need more “range of motion” based upon their drying location of choice.

Roux Fermodyl 619, GVP Sebastian Potion #9 and Aveda Brilliant Damage Control : I grouped these all together as I can’t really differentiate too much between what did what. So, I will defer to MopTopMaven’s previously proffered explanation of each product’s benefits as she outlined here. I used them in the same order that she did and as I’ve listed them here. I used one vial of the Fermodyle 619 and then applied a hazelnut-sized dot of the GVP Potion #9 to each of the 6 twists. Finally, I sprayed about 5-6 spritzes of the Aveda Damage Control on each section. So, although this may seem like a lot of product, it really wasn’t. I made sure not to go heavy on anything, which is why I combed through each product, to ensure more even and thorough distribution. Again, my hair felt clean, crisp and sturdy during the blow-out process. It wasn’t gunky when dried and my hair was “floaty.” I think I would have gotten very nice results if I’d gone directly to flat-ironing my hair with these products. However, as that wasn’t the plan, I blow dried and then added the smallest amount of CD’s HHB, to smooth it and provide the tiniest bit of moisture, making certain not to overdo it. As I’m getting my hair twisted, I know it has to feel pretty product-less and that was what I was going for here and believe I achieved.

Conair Ceramic Comb: So, I got this comb to round out the ceramic tools;). The medium-tooth side and parter tooth worked great. The fine-tooth side? Not so much. But, that was okay as I had my rattail comb that worked very well to finish the job.

Tension method: I don’t believe I perfected this ;), however it turned out pretty nicely for my first go at it, I think. I do know that despite the fact that the technique involves the word tension, it caused far less of that on my hair than the comb attachment would have. I was pleased that the only hair that I seemed to lose appeared to be shed hair. I was also satisfied that it was a pretty easy process. It was time-consuming, but I think that was only because it was my first time and I  was doing other things. I definitely don’t think that it would take any longer than using the comb attachment for someone who’s done it a few times. So, the tension method gets the thumbs up!

To wrap this up, I put a few drops of my Essential Oil Mix on my fingertips and massaged it into my scalp. Then, I put my hair into one big braid down the back (secured at the end with a silicone elastic) and donned one of my satin scarfs to hit the sack.

Welp, that’s it! I’ll share a few more pics of the finished blow-out … and a pic of a section that I carefully flat-ironed to see the “true” length.

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I really do feel rewarded for my diligence, because this is the longest that my hair has ever been in my life. And, to tell you the truth, it’s really not all that hard or time-consuming. I spend far more time working on the blog then I do on my hair. However, that being said, I can NOT wait for Wednesday. Why? Because I’ll be in a full set of Afro puffy twists, which will make my day to day styling so much easier … no bad hair days! No wet twists! No failed TnCs. Yea! Just ready for a little break! But don’t worry, I’ll still be playing around with styles and will be doing a post on winter protective styling options and care tips too! Check ya lata gatas!!

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24 responses »

  1. Just wanted you to know that your hair journey inspires me….we are around the same age and your hair grows beautifully. My hair is growing nicely and I intend to see how long it will grow for me as well. Thanks for this blog.

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    • Thanks Jasmine, Karla and Miche’al! Sorry for my delayed reply! I really appreciate all of the kind words and it is really rewarding to know that my journey and blog are helping and inspiring others :D!

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    • Hahaha! The thing is Jai, I don’t even have that much shrinkage compared to others … but ain’t that the truth?!? I always want MORE shrinkage! Well, shrinkage the way it used to be. But, it’s getting there with my “new growth” that hasn’t been covered with as much henna.

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    • Hey Tai, the twists definitely get it partially there. They dried well and were very smooth. Then, I when I dampened to use the blow dryer, I just held it taut a few inches from the roots, dried, move down a few more inches, dried that section and so on and so on. It really was pretty simple.

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  2. I knew your hair was long, but wow! I even think of how much it has grown since I’ve known you. I’m on your tail Shelli! LOL

    I can see your difference in textures more now.

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    • Are you coming up here for me to do it? If so, then I got you:). Oh, but you have to do the prep first too … i.e. apply the products you want (including heat protectant) and put it in twists to stretch it.

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  3. Pingback: Afro Puffy Twists: A Protective Style in Review « hairscapades

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  5. Awesome work Shelli!!! I might try this the next time I do my twists. I’ve heard of the tension method, but I like using the comb attachment. Dries my hair in two seconds. And I use an old school dryer. It was my mom’s from like 20+ years ago and it still works! 🙂

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  6. It looks great, Shelli! Your hair is a great example of how you can reach new lengths through protective styling the right way. I find that my hair really responds well to being stretched in the fall and winter. I still dread the process of blowing it out but love the results. Tentatively, I’m planning to do a blow out every other month for the next few months.

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    • GG, I read/saw your post on your blow-out this morning!! Girl, that sponge roller set is looking GOOD!! LOL!! I haven’t done a blow-out style, but I’ve been thinking it might be cool to do a braid out on hair stretched with a blow-out! Do you use a comb attachment or do the tension blow-out technique. And thank you so much:). I’ve had it cut a couple of times since then, so the longest lengths aren’t much longer right now and the other area are shorter due to layers. I also haven’t been wearing it in protective styles as often as I did last year and I really do think that makes a difference!! I need to get back on my protective styling game;)!

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