Tag Archives: blow-out

Dry Two Strand Flat Twist-Out: Blown Out Hair

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flattwistoutonblowout

Yup. I’m at it again. Still trying how to figure out how to two-strand flat twist correctly, and still not getting it quite right. But, even with my less than stellar installation, the results were pretty good!! I know that I didn’t do them right because I didn’t have two clean sections when I removed them. But … good enough.

Anywho, the weekend before last, I was going for a wedding day hair trial with Jaded Tresses. So, I blew out my hair and she lightly flat-ironed it. A couple of days later, I decided to try another NaturalNeiicey (aka PGneiicey) twist out tutorial I’d watched weeks earlier. I was just hoping that my hair would look HALF as gorgeous as hers.

I had blown my hair out over the weekend and used a leave-in, heat protectant, and smoothing cream for that purpose. So, when I set it in the twists, I didn’t want to add any additional products to the length of my hair. Instead, I just spritzed the twists lightly with water after they were done. Then, I did use a little Deva Curl Set It Free (my unsung hero) on my ends before setting them on rollers. And, on day 2, I used my good ol’ Soft n’ Free Mold & Hold Wax for edge control.

(Click pics to see captions.)

Day 2 (better than day 1!)

End of day 2 (better than day 1!)

Okay, gotta go get in Day 258 of 365 Days of Fitness (it’ll be a short one because it’s late now). Oh, and I completed Day 58 of 365 Days of the Word earlier this morning. Update on both challenges coming soon!!

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Do you do blow-out styles? If so, which styles do you prefer the most on blown-out hair (i.e. twist-outs, braid-outs, buns, etc.)?

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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!!

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?