Category Archives: Miscellaneous

‘Tis the Season to be Straightened

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5 Tips to Make your Salon Trip Jolly

Whether it’s for the ease, the longevity afforded by low dew points, a slew of holiday parties, a style change, or a gift to pamper oneself, straight hair seems to be a holiday season favorite. And, if you are going the salon route, you may be a bit nervous about over-manipulation and/or heat damage. But, if you follow a few quick tips, you don’t have to be!

1. Prepare your hair: If you haven’t combed your hair since the last harvest moon, don’t be surprised if you lose half of it in the salon chair. I kid. I kid. But seriously, a stylist is not going to spend 2 hours finger detangling your hair. If they do, you can expect to pay a hefty premium for their patience and diligence. Just because you are getting someone else to do your hair, doesn’t mean you can neglect it. If you do, don’t be mad when you feel like they are ripping through your mane and half of it goes down the drain.

2. Condition. Whether you pay the stylist or do it yourself the weekend before your visit, use a light protein conditioner and a deep moisturizing conditioner. If your hair is really in need of help, a reconstructor may be in order.

3. Heat protectant: Make certain your stylist is using a good heat protectant. This is a must as it reduces the impact of heat styling on the hair, especially if using a blow dryer and flat-iron.

4. Temperature controlled ceramic flat-iron: Verify that your stylist is using a quality ceramic flat-iron with a temperature control and advise of the max setting that should be used on your hair. Personally, I don’t want anything over 350 degrees. Higher than that may cause a change in the structure of the hair that could result in permanent heat damage. However, you know your hair best, so just make certain that the temperature doesn’t exceed your comfort level.

5. Two to three passes: Request that your stylist straighten small sections (using the chaser method, if possible) and limit the number of passes with the flat-iron to 2-3.

Bonus tips:

• If you can, choose a stylist that you know and trust. If you have to use someone knew, research them first whether it’s through other clients or a consultation.

• If you need a trim, dissuade a scissor-happy stylist by advising them that you want to see what they are doing. Request a “dusting/micro-trim” of 1/4-1/2″ if preserving length is important to you. (I had 2 1/2″ cut-off, but worked through and agreed upon it with my stylist. Then I watched in the mirror as she did it.)

Hope this helps and wishing you all a very merry straightening experience!!

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Do you have any “failsafe” tips for getting your hair straightened at the salon?

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I’ve Become A Straight Hair Natural (without Heat Damage!!)

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And I like it!! That’s right, I said it. I’ve been natural for 15 years, big chopped twice, and have nothing to prove. I love my natural curls. However, right now, I love the convenience and ease of straight hair a lot more! And, sometimes, that’s really all there is to it.

Anywho, with the arrival of the cooler and dryer air of autumn, it seemed timely for a straight hair post. So I’m about to share why I began straightening my hair regularly and how I have managed to do so for the majority of the last year without suffering heat damage (the latter of which always seems to be the mythical unicorn of the natural world ;)).

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Anywho, I started straightening my hair around the 5th month of my pregnancy last year. When I realized that I could get at least 4 weeks out of straightened hair (sometimes 6), it was a no brainer given my increasing ungainliness and fatigue. When I had Wyntr in January, it again made sense as taking care of a newborn is two full-time jobs and I needed to give up my part-time (i.e. my hair on wash day). Then, as I was coming up on 3 months post-partum, I decided to straighten as a preemptive move to combat the threat of post-partum shedding. I figured that it would allow me to comb my hair between wash days in order to get rid of excessive shedding, making detangling easier when I did get around to washing it.

That’s the why. Following is the how. But first, two caveats. Number one: I do not care about having perfect hair 24/7. I don’t aim for bone straight hair and I live in a bun 99% of the time (Hello!! 8 month old!!). So, if you are looking for advice on keeping your natural hair straight and “laid” without heat damage … ummm … this may not be for you. Number two: I don’t have scalp issues, so I can easily go 4 weeks between wash days without excessive scalp build up/flakes.

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PREPARE & PROTECT, PROCESS, PRESERVE 

Following are the steps I take and my products of choice. I don’t straighten my hair any more often than once every four weeks and if I can stretch it longer, I do.

PREPARE & PROTECT:

  • Pre-poo to moisturize (virgin coconut oil mixed with Aubrey Organics GPB and/or Honeysuckle Rose)
  • Clarify to start with a clean base (Kinky Curly Come Clean Shampoo)
  • Protein treat to strengthen (Sally’s GVP Joico K-Pak)
  • Deep Condition to moisturize (Sally’s GVP Matrix Biolage Conditioning Balm)
  • Apply a leave-in* conditioner (small amount of Kinky Curly Knot Today mixed with aloe vera juice)
  • Apply a heat Protectant* (Herbal Essences Tea-Lightfully Clean Blow Dry Prep Mist)

*Note: I’ve found that it’s very important to use a leave-in and heat protectant that are light and don’t leave my hair tacky. This allows my hair to glide/flow once straighten and reduces the amount of lint and dust that it attracts.

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PROCESS:

  • Choose one or the other (this controls the amount of heat used on the hair):
    • Blow-out slightly damp hair OR
    • Air dry hair stretched (in 2-4 braids) and flat-iron (usually dry one day and flat-iron the next.
  • If blowing-out:
    • Use a quality tool (Conair Infiniti Pro 3 in 1 Styler with double comb attachment)
  • If flat-ironing:
    • Use a quality tool with temperature control (BaByliss Nano Titanium Pro)
    • Use lower temperatures (280-320º max)
    • Take small 1″ sections
    • Gently comb section well using a medium to fine tooth comb
    • Two to three passes of the flat-iron on each section max
  • Seal/Shine (Shea Moisture Raw Shea Reconstructor Elixir and/or Sally’s GVP Paul Mitchell Skinny Serum)

PRESERVE:

  • Never re-apply heat between washes (that’s a surefire way to cause heat damage).
  • Use heat free styling techniques between wash days: braids, buns, rollersets, curlformers, flexirods, pin curls, etc.
  • Bun, braid, pineapple, or pin-curl hair at night.
  • Use a satin bonnet or scarf and sleep on a satin pillowcase.
  • Use an edge control paste/gel (Ampro Protein Gel mixed with moisturizer – IKR??? Who knew?!; Curls Blueberry Bliss)
  • Use a terry-lined shower cap.
  • Forget the umbrella for the rain, use a raincoat with drawstring hood.
  • Apply a light moisturizer that doesn’t cause reversion, as needed (Wonder Curl Get Slick Hair Smoothie; Carol’s Daughter Healthy Hair Butter).**
  • Apply a light oil as needed to seal moisture/add shine (Shea Moisture Raw Shea Reconstructor Elixir and/or Sally’s GVP Paul Mitchell Skinny Serum).**
  • Oil scalp, as needed (Wild Growth Hair Oil).*
  • Exercise with hair bunned and use an open-ended wig cap under a sweatband. (I’ll admit, I haven’t worked out with any type of consistency since the baby and my work-outs have been moderate in intensity. But, thus far, this has worked for me.)

**Note: Again, it is important to use a light moisturizer and oil for maintenance to avoid tacky hair that attracts lint and dust. By reducing the amount of dirt the hair attracts, straight hair can be maintained for longer.

Finally, I do take a break between straight cycles sometimes with a stretched braid-out, twist-out, and even a WnG once! I also henna or henna gloss when I can. And those are my tips! Hope they help!

(p.s. My hair is the longest that it’s ever been and the fullest it’s been in a long time following this regimen.) 

 

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Are you a straight-hair natural? What are your tips of the trade?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exercise & Natural Hair: Wig Cap for the Win Again

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This is just a quick little tip that I’ve been meaning to share for a while. A while back, I shared this post to tell you all how I started using wig caps to control my crown when air drying braid/twist sets overnight.  The wig cap is a lot easier to use than a hairnet and smooths my hair from temples, to crown, to nape.

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Well, shortly thereafter, I realized that the wig cap was also great for helping preserve my hair while working out. I started using the wig cap last year while wearing my hair in two braids, but then I started using it with straightened hair too. The wig cap keeps my braided or bunned hair flat while allowing my head to breathe and providing an opening for my braids/bun, wherever they are placed. I use an oldie but goodie Dri-Sweat Edge Headband over my edges to absorb/whisk the sweat from my face. Once I’m done working out, I remove the sweatband and wig cap, apply an edge control product/gel, if necessary, and tie my hair down with a satin scarf while I shower, get dressed, and drive to work. The collage below is after two days (bottom left) and two weeks (bottom right) of daily exercise and prior to re-applying an edge control product. 


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Not bad, right??

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How do you preserve your hair when you exercise?

SmocksnBondsBoutique Giveaway Winner!!

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The winner of an item* on SmocksandBondBoutique is …

@naturallychar

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*excludes smocked items.

Congrats lady! To claim your prize, shoot your full name and mailing address to me at hairscapades@gmail.com within the next 5 days!!

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Wyntr’s Hair Regimen 

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IMG_2550 Yes! The first Wyntr’s Hairscapades post has arrived!! LOL!! A few of you have been asking about baby girl’s hair regimen. So, while she naps, here it is and mini reviews of a couple products. Generally speaking, I only wash Wyntr’s hair once a week. We did have a bout of scaley build-up a month or so ago though, and then I washed her hair 2-3x in the week to handle it. The build-up came from using Honest baby oil and the leave-in conditioner, I believe. I have since eliminated those from her hair care. IMG_2520 WYNTR’S REGIMEN Weekly:

  • Pre-poo with about a dime-size amount of virgin coconut oil (VCO) a few minutes to a day prior to washing (whenever I get around to doing it!).
  • At bath time, dampen hair with water and brush scalp in a circular motion with Bean-b-Clean Cradle Cap Brush. MINI-REVIEW: This brush is like my shampoo brush that I love, but with very soft, flexible, and closely packed bristles. It really helped clear up the scaley, oily, build-up of dry skin on Wynn’s scalp. It wasn’t cradle cap, but think that might have developed if I hadn’t jumped on the issue when I did. This brush is specifically made to treat and prevent cradle cap, so I use it every wash.
  • Rinse hair with lukewarm water.
  • Apply and lather Shea Moisture Raw Shea Chamomile & Argan Oil Baby Head-to-Toe Wash & Shampoo w/Frankincense & Myrrh. MINI-REVIEW: Man, that’s a mouthful, even for SM!! Whew!! Anywho, this was a gifted product and I love it! We use it as both her body wash and shampoo. It smells great, lathers and cleans well, but not too much, is gentle to baby girl’s skin and hair (non-drying), and doesn’t sting her eyes.
  • Brush hair/scalp again in a circular motion with Bean Clean brush.
  • Rinse shampoo with lukewarm water.
  • Apply a small amount of VCO to damp hair.

IMG_2526 Bi-Weekly (or as needed):

  • Spritz hair with water.
  • Apply a small amount of VCO with fingers.

IMG_2539 And that’s it for this little natural’s ‘do! (p.s. You know that she woke up from her nap, right? LOL!)

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What regimen have you found work’s best for your mini’s ‘do?

SmocksnBondsBoutique Instagram Giveaway!

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And so it begins … A few weeks ago, I came across this Instagram account, smocksnbondsboutique with the cutest little baby rompers! I fell in love with a couple of the ruffle booty variety ensembles, so I reached out to the Etsy owner, Lauren, to see if she’d be interested in letting me review one of her rompers and doing a giveaway. Well imagine my pleasure when she was interested in both!!

Well, I received this adorable pink and blue elephant romper just in time for the NJ summer heat!

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The romper is so well-made!! The fabric is substantial, everything is double seamed, and it’s finished with a zig zag stitch! Lauren says, “I want that garment to last!” I was also very pleased that the bottom is closed with three zaps!! She knows about those diaper changes! As I wanted this romper to fit Wyntr the whole summer, I did ask for it to have a little room to grow, so the straps were a little long. But, I fixed that with a couple of safety pins in the back and by criss-crossing the straps. Then, we were good to go! All in all, I’m in LOVE with this romper and my pumpkin in it!! Seriously, who can resist a ruffled baby booty?!

NOW, what do you have to do for a chance to win an adorable piece of your choice (excluding smocked  items) from SmocksnBondsBoutique?

  1. Follow Hairscapades.com (blog) →→→→→→→→.
  2. Follow Hairscapades on Instagram.
  3. Follow smocksnbondsboutique on Instagram.
  4. Re-post the above picture and the related Instagram giveaway post (here) on your IG with #hairscapadesgiveaway and #smocksnbonds

All subscribers, old and new, are eligible!! Must have a public Instagram profile (at least long enough for the contest ;)).  Just make certain to Follow and Re-Post as instructed above!!

A winner will be randomly selected the week following the close of the giveaway!

The deadline for entry is Saturday, June 6th at 11:59 pm.

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*No purchase necessary. A winner will be selected at random the week following the close of the giveaway. In accepting the prize, the winner acknowledges that Hairscapades.com may not be held liable for any loss, damages or injury associated with accepting or using this prize. This contest is subject to all federal, provincial and municipal laws. Contest open to Continental U.S. residents only. One entry per person. Claiming of prizes requires an e-mail response to hairscapades@gmail.com from the winner within 5 days of being notified of winning. Failure to respond shall mean that the winner forfeits the prize and an alternate winner will be selected.

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