Tag Archives: afro puffy twists

Afro Puffy Twists: A Protective Style in Review

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I was originally going to call this post, “Afro Puffy Twists or How My Dream Turned into a Nightmare.” However, time has allowed wounds to heal and a level-head to prevail. Now that I’ve sufficiently recovered from my PTSD (Post Twists Stress Disorder), I feel that I can give a breakdown of the Pros and Cons of my long-term, winter protective style, Afro Puffy Twists.

Pros:

  • I love the look of Afro puffy twists. I finally had the lush twist that I’d lusted after for the last couple of years.
  • The style looks very natural and real. The older it got, the better it looked. The ends of the hair curled on their own as natural hair would. It was nearly impossible to distinguish my hair from the Nafy Collection Afro Puffy Twist hair (though, this pro became a con with the take down).
  • I had a braider that was gentle, didn’t comb through my hair, parted it gently and didn’t braid too tightly.
  • I requested cornrows at my hairline and they prevented the extensions from dangling on my finest strands. So, I didn’t lose any twists/hair due to the weight of the extensions.
  • 6 weeks of NO detangling.
  • My fingers and nails had become extremely ragged and rough due to the drying winter air and inside heat. I didn’t have to worry about destroying my strands with my busted fingers as I wasn’t handling my hair as often.
  • Ease of daily styling … this is for real, get up and go hair. I loved that I could wake up, do absolutely nothing to it and it still looked great going out the door.
  • Styling versatility (check out my FB album for more pics).
  • Ability to have a style that showed length, but still protected my strands to a large extent. Although I wore the twists in updos the majority of the time, I could wear them down and out with little risk.
  • Limited daily maintenance. At the most, I would oil my scalp and moisturize and seal the length every 3-4 days.
  • Limited weekly maintenance. Although my plan was to wash it once a week, I only washed and conditioned the twists once in the 6 weeks that I wore the style.
  • Limited styling products. I used my essential oil mix for my scalp, kimmaytube leave-in or Oyin Juices n’ Berries to moisturize and EVOO to seal. The one time I washed, I shampooed with diluted Shea Moisture Raw Shea Moisture Retention Shampoo and conditioned with Aussie Moist. I didn’t pre-poo or DC during the 6 weeks.
  • My hair feels and looks like it is in very good condition, with minimal breakage and normal shedding, post twists.

I’ve seen this much hair shed in one week post wash/detangle session. So, I was very
pleasantly surprised that this is all I saw after 6 weeks of no finger-combing/detangling.

Cons:

  • The anxiety of finding the right braider who won’t pull hair too tightly or comb through it with a fine-tooth comb from root to tip instead of tip to root. However, the anxiety was for naught.
  • The anxiety and time to blow-out my hair myself to reduce the likelihood of a braider causing heat or mechanical damage. Again though, it was for naught because the blow-out process went pretty smoothly as I did my research first and took my time.
  • 7 1/2 hours to install.
  • I had a lot of flyaways. I think this was because the braider didn’t use any product on the length of my hair before twisting it.
  • I had some serious matting of twists at my nape. Hair from multiple twists started matting together. This area was especially vulnerable to ensnaring sweater and scarf lint, dust and gunk. Given that this is the finest hair on my head, this was not good.
  • 3 day, 20+ hour twist take down (see here and here). This pretty much negated the timed saved in daily styling.
  • It was difficult to distinguish my hair from the twist hair, which meant I had to handle the twists as gently as I would have if they were all my hair. This extended to the take down as well.
  • The difficulty in removing the twists due to the way that they were installed. Two spray-in detanglers, conditioner, and an EVOO “steam bath” did very little to ease the take down. Each twist took a good 5-10 minutes to remove as my hair extended the full length of the twists. So, there was no cutting off a part of the twist before untwisting. Between the added hair at the end to cover my hair, the rolling of my hair in the twists and the braids at the roots with all three sections containing strands of my hair, there was no quick way to remove the twists without damaging my own hair.
This is the hair and sections in ONE twist!

Final Verdict:

So, in conclusion, would I get twists with the Nafy Afro Puffy Twist hair again? Yes I would. Surprised? I think the pros mostly outweighed the cons. Ultimately, though the take down was trauma inducing, it didn’t result in any permanent damage and my hair felt great after my wash, henna, DC and style. Also, I loved them so much and I think that the drama of the take down could be averted with some different techniques.

Next Time:

  • I would have the twists installed using the Senegalese twist technique at the roots instead of braids.
  • I would ask the braider use some type of holding product on the length of my hair so that I wouldn’t have as many flyaway hairs.
  • I would request that the length be loosely twisted, rather than twisting the individual sections first and then twisting the two together. I think that this caused my hair to be ensnared in the extension hair more than it needed to be.
  • I would keep a more cautious eye on the nape twists and remove them when I start to feel appreciable matting. I would either have them “refreshed” or just twist my own hair until I was ready to take down all the twists.

I’ve been thinking that I may try to do my next install myself, using bigger sections. However, I know myself pretty well, and don’t think I’d have the patience or willingness to actually make a go of this on my own. Maybe I’ll try Havana Twists next? I have 3 bags of hair left!

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Do/have you worn twist extensions? What are/were the pros and cons for you? What precautionary measures do you take prior to the install? For the take down? Would you get them again?

The Take Down Continues: 11 Hours and Counting

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Ugh.

The face says it all, doesn’t it?

On Tuesday night, I spent 5 1/2 hours taking out most of the twists in the back of my hair. It was horrendous, 2 bottles of spray detangler, EVOO, Aussie Moist … and nothing helped make it faster or easier. Last night, I “bathed” the remaining twists in EVOO, made 5 evenly sized big twists, donned two plastic caps, a shower cap and worked out for about 30 minutes for an improptu “steam.” I resumed the take down at 8:30 pm. I was up until to 2 am. It took me 5 1/2 hours to get through 2 section. There are 3 sections left. I am exhausted. Let the nightmare continue. Now, I think this may be The Worst Thing Ever. Okay, maybe not … I think I’ll still have hair after this is over. But this is traumatizing.  *sigh*

I’ll have a full run down next week.

The Take Down Begins

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It was a great run, but alas, it is time for it to come to an end. I was originally planning on keeping my twists in until the end of January. However, some recent plans for this upcoming weekend, as well as an increasingly ratty nape area and flyaway ridden halo, made me decide to begin taking the twists down on Saturday night. I plan on splitting the take down over a couple of days.

Matting:
In regard to the matting, I’m really a little mad at myself because I think that I did something that contributed to it. I also felt it happening a couple of weeks ago, but didn’t do anything about it. First, the way that I had the nape cornrowed did what I planned, it prevented the weight of individual twists from pulling out  my very fine nape hair. However, the hair still loosened quickly and the cornrows were very short. So, in order to provide a bigger base for the weight of the twists, I put 6 of the twists at my nape into 3 twists (twisting 2 twists into 1 twist, to make 3 total twists). So, those 3 twists got really matted together.

After taking a shower (which is why my hair is wet), I began to remove the twists, starting with the three at the center. I removed all three twists and then began to try to loosen the matted hair by massaging it and separating. Unfortunately, I had a very difficult time doing this and there was a little gunk (dust and oil) stuck in one section that I couldn’t release, even after applying some Aussie Moist conditioner. At a certain, point, I realized that most of the hair had broken and that the knot was only hanging on to about 4 or 5 strands of hair that were connected at the roots. I asked Wei to confirm this and he did. So, I decided to just cut out the knot at this point.

I seriously feel sick to my stomach about this, because it is about 5 inches of hair. I can’t tell if any of it is shed hair, though I’m sure some of it is. But I’m also certain that it also includes broken hair on my already shorter center nape section. These were the only twists that I removed thus far for which I had to resort to the scissors though. I also think that the nape is the worse area. However, I did learn some things as I removed these first several twists that I’ll apply when I finish the job.

Lessons Learned for Twists Take Down:

  • Afro puffy twists are very natural looking, but with that pro comes a con. It can be very difficult to differentiate between one’s own hair and the synthetic hair.
  • The ends of the twists tangle and knot, so I often had to break the knot at the end, praying that my hair wasn’t that far down. I think I was safe with the nape hair, which is shorter than the rest of my hair, hence the reason that I did that. However, when I remove the rest of the twists, I’ll really have to try to unravel the knotted ends instead of breaking them.
  • It’s best to release and detangle one twists at a time, massaging out knots, gunk and matting. I think that I might have saved the hair in those first released twists if I’d done this instead of releasing all three and then trying to detangle. I would always recommend detangling braid by braid, twists by twist, when removing extensions.
  • Make sure the twist and braided root are fully unravelled and released before trying to remove the extension hair. A few times, I tried to just unravel the twist and then loosen the braid to slide out the extension hair. Inevitably, the hair would catch, bunch and tangle around my hair as I tried to slide it out. So, I’d have to carefully try to untangle a bunched up mess.

Hair Plans for the Week:
So yeah, my plan is to finish taking out the twists at the back of my head tonight and hiding them with the top twists for work on Tuesday (I’ll make medium twists out of my own hair once released). Then, on Tuesday night, I’ll have to finish the job. Pray for me that I’ll have enough time to apply a pre-poo, wash and condition that same night. If I don’t, I have no idea what I’ll be doing Wednesday for work! Maybe I’ll be able to get the pre-poo in on Tuesday night and bun it for Wednesday. Then, I want to henna (roots only), DC and set in a TnC on Thursday! Good grief … I miss my twists already thinking about all of this!! LOL!!

Project Scale Down Update:
I’m down to 126 lbs and feeling better since getting back on the horse last Tuesday! My diet and exercise routine have been strong, I’ve resumed taking my pre-natal multi-vitamin, biotin and MSM and increased my water intake back to about 60 ounces a day. So, just going to try to keep all of that going!

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So, did you start or try anything new in the first week of 2012? What are your hair/fitness/life plans for this week?

Retro Swoop n’ Bun Tutorial (Video)

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Okay, so you guys know that I try to usually have a post early in the morning, but I was up sooo late last night working on editing this video tutorial. You see, I’ve finally started using iMovie to edit my videos. But, I’m still a novice, so I have to figure it out as I go. Next, it’s a holiday Monday, so I slept in until about 9:30 (I LOVE sleeping in … I’m going to pay for it when I have to wake up at 6 am tomorrow … ugh). Then, of course, I had to fudge around on Facebook and CurlyNikki first thing. And then, I decided I want to use iPhoto, which I used for the first time in the tutorial, to give the above photo a vintage feel! What do you think?

Okay, okay, I’ll stop fooling around (because it’s delaying me posting this! LOL!). Without further ado, here is the video tutorial for the Retro Swoop ‘n Bun look pictured above! It’s quick and pretty easy. The style could also be done on braided extensions and locs, I think! I hope that you like it!

3 Weeks and Counting

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Yeah, 3 weeks and counting since my last hair washing session. That is NOT a good thing! I was a complete bum on Saturday and lazed around the house until noon, then hit the shower to have lunch with 2 of the other 3 members of the Sci-Five (see #22 here for an explanation, if you’re new;)). I had pancakes … also NOT a good thing (but oooh so DEE-licious) … and then passed out until about 8 or 9 pm when Wei and I got home (carb crash!!). On Sunday, I had a family holiday dinner in central Jersey. We left for that at 11 am and didn’t get back home until after midnight because we were assigned to the clean-up shift and there were some unforeseen events.

Monday after work, I had to actually begin some Christmas shopping (hadn’t done any yet, with the exception of an Amazon order to get gifts for my staff). And from Tuesday through Thursday, I’m spending my work days in my main office in Trenton, which is a 2 hour commute each way. The drive was made even longer on Tuesday night because of a very unfortunate and sad plane crash on my normal route, which resulted in me taking an alternate way home (I’m not complaining, because a half hour added to my drive is a gift in comparison to the tragedy of the plane crash).

Needless to say, I haven’t had the energy nor inclination to saturate this hair with water and deal with the amount of time it might take to dry. So, I’ve just been moisturizing with water/Kimmaytube leave-in or Oyin Juices & Berries (I know!! Glycerin in Winter! But, I read the article by Emily CottonTop too and the first ingredient in J&B is water ;)) and sealing with EVOO.

Figured you guys might be interested in seeing how the twists are holding up after three weeks with no washing! So, here are a few pics, including some close-ups.

My hair is definitely poking out of the twists and has gotten fuzzy at the nape and sides. However, I really don’t mind it too much. I mind my grey roots more! I really should have done a henna treatment before getting these done! The one thing that the braider didn’t do was apply product to the length of my hair before doing the twists. I would definitely ask that some type of holding product be applied if I get these done again as I believe it would have ensured that my hair was constrained within the length of the twists. I noticed that there were loose strands when I got home after having the twists done and I believe that more hair is coming out of the twists the older that they get. Again though, I’m not overly concerned as it appears to mostly be around the edges and my plan was to get the “halo” redone at the end of December or the first week in January.

In regard to my scalp, it could use a washing, but it isn’t bad. I’ve been oiling it every few days (usually if it feels itchy) and don’t appear to have much build-up, though there is a little. I have been totally blowing off exercising for the last two weeks (*boooh! hisss!* “Bad Shelli!”), so I haven’t had a sweaty scalp to contend with lately. But, this is it. I definitely have to wash it this week before this hair crawls off of my head on its own.  I think I may take Friday off from work and I’ll use the time to wash this mop then!

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So, what’s the deal? Who else is like me and only really started shopping this week with Christmas mere days away?!?! I know that I’m not alone ;)!! Right? Right? Anybody? Anybody?

Afro Twists Cinnabun & Tube Dresses at Work

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Told you that I’m loving the versatility of these twists:)! So, this was my look on Wednesday. I gathered my hair into a crown level ponytail using a Goody Ouchless elastic. As the twists are so thick, I didn’t wrap it at all. I started at the top middle of my hair and gathered a section of twists (maybe about 16-20?) and twisted them together. Next, I pin-curled the big twist with a hair pin. Then, I repeated the process all around the perimeter, leaving some twists in the middle section so that I could also form big pin-curl to fill out the twisted “cinnabun.” Finally, I adorned with the same red flower hair clips I used the prior day. The whole style took about 8 minutes to do. I didn’t have to use an excessive amount of hair or bobby pins and the hair is so light, it didn’t give me a headache or make my head feel heavy like I’ve experienced with braided extensions in the past.

Here are additional pics of the completed style.

I plan on doing a video tutorial for this one soon, if it seems like you guys are interested. So, let me know!

Okay, now onto my fashion tip of the week: wearing tube dresses at work. I picked up this red pocketed tube dress by Express at Marshall’s a couple of years ago for $16.99. I never got around to wearing it, but decided to pull it out today for work. A tube dress at work?!?!  Yes! There are a few very easy ways to wear a tube dress in a professional environment.

  • Wear a straight tube skirt as a long skirt, paired with a complimentary top.
  • Disguise with a cardigan (short or long), cardigan set or blazer.
  • For a more edgy but still put together look, layer over a button down shirt or a turtleneck and cinch the waist with a wide belt.

Found another illustration of this combo on Polyvore! I swear that I didn’t see this first! *lol*

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Have you worn a tube dress to work? If not, would/could you? How do you make it office-worthy?

Quick Two Twist Updo: Afro Puffy Twists

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Okay, I exercised three days in a row … trying to get back on my grind. Hot yoga KICKED MY BUTT on Sunday and Monday. I was on the floor half of the class! And my shoulders and quads are so frickin’ sore! Downward dog is a rest position my a@#$! I was beat the frick up! Check out my face after class!

LOL!!  Anywho, just wanted to share this super quick and easy updo that I whipped my hair into for class and then adorned with a couple of flowers to wear to work the next day.

How did I do it? Well, I’m glad that you asked!

  1. Separated hair into two even sections, a top and a bottom half.
  2. Two-strand twisted top section towards the right and wrapped end around to top right side, securing against head with a small jaw clip.
  3. Two strand twisted the bottom section towards the left and wrapped end around to the top left of the twist, securing against head with a second small jaw clip.

Optional:

  • For workout, slap on a sweatband.
  • For work, adorn with flower hair clips, “hiding” the small jaw clips in the process or wear a decorative headband.

Voilà! That’s it!

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Hope you like! Lata G8tas!!

Now Arriving: Afro Puffy Twists!

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Okay, just doing this really quick post to share my new hair with you! I LOVE it!! In my opinion, the hair is soft, flexible and light when compared to other synthetic braiding/twisting hair and it should only get fluffier and more natural looking the older it gets. When I got home, I spritzed the twists with Sally’s GVP Infusium 23 leave-in, sealed with EVOO and applied my EO mix to my scalp around the cornrows and crown. I am already playing around with different styles and can’t wait to see what else I can come up with! It is sooooo on!

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As to my experience at Braids ‘R Us in Maplewood, NJ? EXCELLENT! Maza (sp?) was my braider and she was very gentle with my hair, didn’t braid too tightly and did exactly as I requested in regard to cornrowing my fine edges. I brought my shower comb with me and combed through my hair before we began and Maza didn’t comb through my hair at all, she simply parted it to form the sections. If she ever snared or tugged a strand (which was rare, maybe 4-5 times during the entire process), she quickly apologized and gentled her touch. The style cost $140 ($160 with tip), took about 7 1/2 hours to complete (due to the length of my hair) and two bags of the Nafy Collection Afro Puffy Twist hair (which I purchased online and brought with me). I do wish that my hair was a little more moisturized. So, in the future, I will add a moisturizing oil, like coconut or Vatika, to my hair while it is still wet, prior to blow drying. In this way, my hair should be more moisturized without being “producty.” If I was flat-ironing, I might visit grapeseed oil or try the rest of MopTopMaven’s Flat Ironing Cocktail;). Back to Braids R’ Us though, it was really good experience and reaffirmed why I went there years ago and referred others to the salon! It is a little more pricey than some braiding parlors in northern NJ, but I believe it is totally worth it for the care given to my strands and the final results.

So yup … I’m a happy camper:)! I plan on trying to keep these in until the end of our GOC at the end of January, so 8 weeks. I hope that I can hold out that long as I usually get antsy around 4 weeks and remove extensions at about 6. So, we’ll see.