Tag Archives: braids

Super Easy, Minimalist Braid-out

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I was going through my phone to delete some pics (I’m too embarrassed to admit how many pics I have and how many are selfies … but, let’s just say, too many :P), and came across this braid-out that I never posted here. The things that make this braid out notable for me are that I achieved it with minimal products and styling!!

Two Pocahontas-style braided ponytails have become my go to “style” since I started working out daily for my 365 Days of Fitness.

Told ya!

After pre-pooing, washing, detangling, and deep conditioning, I want to spend as little time styling my hair as possible. In addition, I like to keep my hair off my face and neck during my morning workouts. This keeps me cooler and prevents my hair from getting too sweaty (I sweat in my head, so my hair almost always gets wet to some extent. This is even with good sweatbands, which really just keep the sweat on my face from seeping into my front hairline). Finally, the style has been great for hot summer weekends. Throw on a hat or headband and I’m out the door!

Anywho, all this to say, I’ve been rocking these braids and the resultant braid-outs all summer. But, I was pleasantly surprised when I got the really great braid-out from the two braids and only two products!! These products are also regulars in my rotation: Kinky Curly Knot Today (KCKT) Leave-in Conditioner and my Jamaican Black Castor Oil (JBCO) mix, which includes a little EVOO and a few EOs (can’t even remember what I threw in there). After washing:

  • Blotted hair with a tee-shirt so that it was damp, not dripping wet.
  • Applied enough KCKT to finger detangle hair in four sections, then combed through the sections with a shower brush to smooth the hair.
  • Parted hair down the middle with fingers and made a braid on each side, starting the bases of the braids behind my ears.
  • Applied a little JBCO mix to seal the last few inches of hair.

I wore my hair in the braids overnight, tying the top down with satin scarf. Then, I left the braids in for at least one full day (it usually takes one day to totally dry), and when I released the following day …. voilà.

2braid_braidout91082645_10201835697951901_1497702319_nAnd that’s all I have to say about that.

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Do you have a super easy, minimal products and tools required, go-to style? Spill so that others can benefit from your cleverness ;)!! And if it’s dual purpose, even better!!

Transitioning Series: Protective Styling with Braid/Twist Extensions

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Michelle_HappilyEverNaturalby Michelle of Happily Ever Natural

Hey Naturalista’s!!! Transitioning? Don’t know what to do with your hair? Want something new? That will be low manipulation? Nothing is working for you? Ready to relax it? STOP RIGHT THERE IN YOUR TRACKS!! DON’T DO IT!!! Why not put your hair away for a few weeks so you don’t have to bother it? Protective styling is your answer!!!! Protective styling is any hairstyle that helps protect the hair from over-manipulation. Also, protective styles protect your hair from extreme weather, both hot and cold, and it prevents the hair from drying out. When you protective style, you are giving your hair a “break.” Many install a protective style so that they can go days, weeks, or a few months without having to do their hair!

My Instagram and Facebook have been blowing up with many naturalistas tucking their tresses away for the winter. So why not try a protective style? You don’t have to worry about your hair … why not, right? Here are a few protective styles that you can try on your hair. If you don’t want to try them yourself, you can always find a local salon that can do many of these styles.

1. Box Braids
Yes the old school box braids are back and in full effect. They are sooo super cute and easy to do as well.

Check out a tutorial here:

2. Senegalese Twists
I LOVE THIS LOOK … one day I am going to try these on myself :). Check out a tutorial on how to do these here:

3. Havana/ Marley Twists
Now I know all of you have probably watched my Marley twist video. LOL. I SOOO am doing my hair next week like this again, so I hope you all don’t get tired of seeing them. LOL! But here is my video on how to do the Marley twists.

4. Kinky Twists
The good old kinky twists :) are super cute. Here is a video on how to achieve kinky twists:

5. Afro Puffy Twists
LOVE THESE! If my hair was shorter, I would definitely get these in a bob kind of look!! SUPER CUTE!!!

6. Spring Twists
Now I first saw this style on a fellow Instgrammers post. These are super cute too!!!

7. Nubian Twists

Before you install remember to:

1.Wash and deep condition your hair.
2.Moisturize your hair.
3. Detangle your hair.
4. Oil your scalp.

IMPORTANT!!!!!!

Now… Just because your hair is in a protective style, don’t forget you still have to take care of your hair while it’s away. :)

Daily: You must still remember to moisturize your hair: daily and/or at night. You can use a water-based leave-in, such as Oyin Handmade Juices and Berries, to spritz your hair. Don’t oversaturate it because you don’t want your hair to frizz. Also remember to oil your scalp with coconut oil or the oil of your choice.

Night: Sleep with a satin bonnet or, if you hair can’t all fit in a bonnet, with a satin scarf or on a satin pillowcase. It is important!! You want to keep your protective style looking nice.

These styles can last probably up to 2 months. I wouldn’t suggest leaving them in for longer. Leaving protective styles in for a long time can cause damage. And we don’t want that!!

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Will you be protective styling soon? What are your plans?

No Wash Weekend & Progress

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Hair – A Week in Review
Yeah … wash day got skipped this weekend. Had some priority stuff going on with family and needed to head down to south Jersey unexpectedly on Saturday morning. Then, after hot yoga on Sunday, was pretty whipped and just didn’t feel like pre-pooing and having to get into the shower a second time later in the day. So, twists it is!

As a recap, last week I wore braids Monday through Wednesday:

Then, I wore a braid-out on Thursday and Friday morning:

I was TIRED after the meet-up! *lol*

On Friday afternoon and Saturday, a pineappled braid-out turned into, what Nisus and Nuri of It’s Just Hair have coined, “The Buff” (check out their post, Birth of the Buff™, for details ;)).

Stuck in Turnpike traffic.

Then, on Sunday afternoon, after waking up from a two hour post-hot yoga nap, I decided to just twist it up! I didn’t use any product to twist. I just grabbed sections that were clumped together and next to each other, then twisted. Once I was done, I broke out some leftover diluted Aubrey Honeysuckle Rose conditioner from the fridge (I made it to moisturize my braids earlier the prior week). I thoroughly spritzed the twists, sealed the length with a JBCO/EVOO mix and lightly oiled my scalp with Wild Growth Hair Oil.


Because my hair was very stretched from the braids and I didn’t use a lot of product throughout the week, I felt comfortable skipping a wash weekend. If my hair was very tangled like it gets with a WnG or had a lot of product build-up, I probably would have made sure I washed my hair. At the very least, I would be washing it by Tuesday at the latest. But, because it feels decent, the plan is to wear these twists for a few days, then a twist-out maybe or I might just end up bunning it. Only time will tell ;).

Health & Fitness – Progress or “Slow and Steady Wins the Race”
I had an okay week exercise-wise and a pretty good week as far as my diet goes. I did hot yoga last Sunday, the Cardio Max Week 3 work-out on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday and hot yoga again this past Sunday. And … drumroll please … I’m down 5.5 pounds in 4 weeks!!! You may remember that, in my post Rock Bottom, I indicated that I was up to 135 pounds from 120. Well, sadly, I got on the scale a few days after that post and actually weighed in at 138.5 pounds :(. Can you say, “Disgusted?” Anywho, the scale has been going up and down, but it registered 133 pounds yesterday morning and I feel like that’ll stick. It’s not a huge amount to lose in 4 weeks, but I’m happy with it given that I’ve had a very moderate diet and exercise routine. Also, my personal experience has been that my first month of working out and eating right always involves very little scale movement, but tons of other tangible results … i.e. I feel better, I look better, my clothes fit better. So, I’m just going to try to stay focused on getting a little bit in most days of the week and eating decently. This will be week four of The Biggest Loser Cardio Max and I plan to get at least four days in with Bob and Jillian … but, I’ll shoot for five.

Random Stuff
To wrap this up, just wanted to tell you guys a few things. I ordered and got gifted quite a few goodies last week that I’ll be sharing with you over the next couple of weeks! “Products, Clothes and Accessories, OH MY!!” *lol*

Given that I had so much new and unused stuff at home, I was able to resist my PJ urges when Wei and I hit the grocery store Sunday night and I saw this in the toiletries aisle at ShopRite!!

“Rose Mosqueta Oil? Eucalyptus Oil? Sweet Almond Oil? What the hizzay?!?! When did ShopRite get all of of this?!?!” I didn’t investigate too closely as I didn’t want to have an incident. So, I just snapped some quick picks to share with you ladies and kept it moving!! But seriously, my ShopRite is really stepping it up! Who knew??

And with that, I bid you ladies adieu!

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Can you skip a wash day? If so, what enables you to do so and how do you manage your hair when you do? How many days can you stretch? What products, styles and/or techniques allow you to make it to your next wash day?

Mermaid Braid

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Earlier this week, Tai was an enabler and shared several video tutorials with me on the post, Step Away from the Hair. The simplest of the styles, though it looked complicated, was the mermaid braid.

Simple and pretty! Just how I like it! So, I decided to give it a whirl.

It was okay, but I think it could definitely stand to be a little messier to get that mermaid, tousled in the water and seaweed effect! LOL! I actually think my hair is a little too straight for this style right now and could use some, “texturizing.”

That being said, I’m so conflicted! My hair has held up wonderfully (of course, when I’m being lazy and not exercising, I’m not surprised … *womp womp*). But, I have the meet-up this weekend and feel like it should be in a somewhat curly state for the event!! I was contemplating setting it on flexi-rods tonight and spritzing lightly to try to get a curlier set. What do you guys think? Should I do that? Just wear it as is? Do a TnC (though that might be challenging given that we have to travel today and set-up for the 1 pm meet-up tomorrow morning)? WnG (not as challenging as a TnC as I don’t have to worry as much about dry time, but still would have to get a pre-poo and DC in, as well as make my kimmaytube leave-in)?

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So, what say ye? How do you think I should wear my hair to the meet-up?!?! Aggghhhh!!!

Pregnant, Tired and Natural

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Chandra asks:

Being in the first trimester of pregnancy has really taken a toll on my energy level. And, I did all that bad-mouthing about PMS?!! This is on a whole different level! So what do you do when you don’t feel like washing, detangling, conditioning, styling or even looking at your hair? I have been mistreating my strands terribly … not protecting it at night, sometimes not moisturizing because I AM DRAINED! Any tips on styles that will hold me over until I feel like dealing with my hair? Thank you!

Okay, I have ABSOLUTELY no direct experience in this regard. So, you may have to take my advice with a grain of salt and accept it as what it is, the well-meaning suggestions of a layman … or woman, to be more precise. That disclaimer aside, here are a few styling options that I think might help get you through this tough time with minimal effort, while still allowing you to maintain the health of your hair.

  • Medium to large twists or braids with extensions. Washing, conditioning and moisturizing will still be necessary, but with far less frequency and without the hassle of detangling. And, moisturizing is as simple as buying a leave-in conditioner or braid sheen spray to use every few days and then sealing with a light oil. This long-term protective style will make your day-to-day styling nominal. But, you still need to wear your satin bonnet or scarf at night and make certain that the braids/twists aren’t too tight or left in too long. Also, make certain to take a break between installs to give your scalp time to rest. This is always important to preserve one’s edges, but may be even more so during pregnancy as undue stress during this time may exacerbate postpartum shedding.
  • Mini or small twists on your own hair. These won’t last as long as the same style done with extensions. However, they still work as an option that can last a week to two and eliminate daily styling. In regard to care, all of the above still applies.
  • Wig it up! There are so many options and you can rock a different look every week if you like! You can cornrow your hair up for the week and rock a wig when out and about. Then, you release your cornrows once a week to every two weeks for wash day. Though you will have to detangle, the amount of time spent doing it will be far reduced as the cornrows will leave hair in a stretched state.

I also found this blog post, Natural Hair While Pregnant and on Bed Rest (ignore the picture! *lol*). The author outlines her regimen, which revolved around keeping her hair in six large braids the majority of the time, washing her hair once every two weeks and wearing a braid out when it was necessary to venture out in public. As you’re not on bed rest, the need to go out is probably far more frequent. So, you might be able to wear a neater version of the 6 braid updo that I detailed here and save the braid out for special occasions, like date night.

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What styles have you worn during pregnancy that were easy on time and effort, without sacrificing the health of your hair?

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! 

Convertible Dress and Braided Updo

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I needed to figure out how to wrap my RaVon convertible dress into a strapless style last night for my friend’s wedding, so I hit YouTube of course. This morning, hopped on my computer and I still had that YouTube video up, but it had links for other similar videos in the window. So, I clicked the one below in curiosity. The dress is cute and I love that it is reversible, but check out her hair!! I’m feeling this braided updo!! I can’t wait to get twists because I think I could do something like this by braiding the twists together and strategically pinning. You can’t see the style entirely, but pretty sure I could fake a reasonable facsimile!!

What do you think?

Quick 6 Braid Updo

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First and foremost, I’m back in my house and the electricity has been restored!! Wooh-hooh! Thank you God! Okay, now onto the hair;). I mentioned yesterday that I came up with a quick style. You see, I started reading Chicoro’s Grow It! last weekend and it suggested loosely braiding dry and detangled hair in sections, rather than twisting it as I’ve been doing, for the wash day routine. I will explain the purpose of this in more detail in another post. For now, just wanted to explain that I finger detangled my dry hair (no Vatika oil pre-poo) in 6 sections and braided those sections loosely in preparation for washing. It took some time as I haven’t washed my hair since the Curly Nikki Meet-Up on October 20th. So, when I realized there was no way I was washing my hair that evening, I had to think about what I could do with my hair to prevent having to undo the braids the next day to style. Now, these braids were not neat or evenly sectioned in any way.

But, I decided to braid the three braids on each side of my head into two big braids.

Then, an idea popped into my head to just secure these braided ponytails against the back of my head as large, flat pin-curls that were directed towards each other and the center of my head.

So, that’s it. I used a little of the Indian Hemp hair dress to smooth my edges before tying my hair down with a satin scarf for the night. The next morning, I removed the scarf, smoothed my temples with my brush and headed out the door. It’s not the sleekest of styles and those grey hairs are screaming that it’s time for a henna treatment, but it worked! Knowing that I might be able to prep my hair for wash day and still get away with using the prep braids as a style for a day will make me do them a little neater next time, so that the style will look a little more polished. I’ll probably experiment with placement of the braids as I’m sure I could come up with a few other options too.

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Do you twist or braid your hair in sections for your wash day routine? Do you have a back-up style for your twists/braids if you can’t wash your hair the day that you prep it?

My First Ever Fishtail Braid!

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UPDATED WITH MORE PICS: MY SECOND EVER FISHTAIL!! *LOL*

I did it!! It’s not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but I did it! Thank you YouTube!! I have admired fishtail/herringbone braids since I was in middle school, but never knew how to do them. Last year, I watched a few videos on the technique and realized it was really very simple. But, I never got around to trying to do the braid. Well, after Rece commented on my post yesterday to say that I should try it, I thought, “Why not?” My hair was stretched relatively well, so it was doable. I will say that I need to be more careful next time as I had more breakage than I like. I think my hair was a little harder than normal from the Zizyphus. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. I think my hair felt heavier and thicker because of it. It’s just that I’m not used to my hair feeling rigid/firm and with all the separating of small sections and my fine strands, I should have been a little more gentle. I tell you, I hate to EVER hear a pop anymore and I heard a couple doing this and saw the shorter, non-sheds that were the proof in the pudding. I winced to see them. It’s styles like this that make me think about using heat to straighten my hair as it would be easier to braid. However, the moment is always fleeting. Right now, I really have no interest in straightening my hair as the effort required to do so is just too time consuming.

So, that’s it. Seems to be a style week, eh? Here is another pic of the braid and the YouTube tutorial that I watched last year to learn how to do them. This is another non-Black, non-curly haired YouTuber. However, I think it’s sometimes easier to see braided styles demonstrated on straight, light-colored hair in videos. The hair is very reflective versus absorbing the light like dark, curly hair. But, I love our dark curly hair:)!! Oh, and she uses extensions to do this!! I ain’t mad at her! LOL!

Oh, and this is the picture of the style that I saw on CurlyNikki last year that prompted me to search for a tutorial! LOVE it!

UPDATE: If you see the comments below, I took out the fishtail at work and bunned my hair until I got home. Then I did a side fishtail braid. LOVE it!!! It’s out already because my head is sore and I think I’m going to pre-poo tonight in preparation for a wash tomorrow. But, I am sooo going to do this again next week if my hair is stretched enough to do so.

Box Braids

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After posting yesterday about quick and simple protective styles, what do I go and do? I don’t know what’s up with me. I guess I’ve been bunning so much lately, I was ready for something different. I had planned on doing twists or a TnC this past weekend until Irene ruined those plans. So, guess I made up for it Thursday night. I had done those two braids and thought they looked nice and wondered what a full head would look like. Well, about two hours later, this is it. They are nice and shiny, but there’s lots of scalp and they are really gappy and thin when you see them from behind *sigh.* I spiral set them on the small red flexis using some DevaCurl Set It Free to rectify that. Curls should give them some “body” (I’ll post pics soon), though they’ll probably still look thin and end up in an updo.

As to the actual styling, my hair was stretched from the bun and wasn’t hard to braid. Making straight parts and even sections was the hardest and most time-consuming element of the style. At first, I applied a little ORS Twist and Lock gel to one section before starting to braid it, thinking it would help give a nice set and hold flyaways. But, I realized quickly, the wetness of the product actually made my hair more tangled and difficult to braid. I remember CurlyNikki saying the same thing about wetting her hair to twist and I’ve experienced this when trying to cornrow wet hair with leave-in conditioner. Instead, Nikki indicated that she applies the product after the twists are finished. I decided I would just use Carol’s Daughter Healthy Hair Butter to moisturize as I braided. It’s creamy and not too wet.

My ends are still feeling a little rough despite a 3 day pre-poo and overnight DC. I really think it was those two bad shampoo experiences and the Rugged Maniac in July (remember the unintentional mud hair “masque?”). It’s only feeling a little rough at the very ends. So, I think I might do a micro trim/dusting on the braids before removing them to wash. I’m hoping to get a week out of the braids. I won’t be washing my hair this weekend as I didn’t exercise (I know, shame on me … I also had cookies twice today and McDonald’s *hanging head in shame*), so no sweaty scalp/dirty hair to cleanse.

Anywho, I also think this will be a good style for the White Water Rafting trip that was rescheduled for this Saturday. I’ll probably bun it or put it into a single braid and tuck. I doubt that I’ll get a braid-out from the style as I think that it’ll be flat and too “zig zag” wavy for me. I like big curls. If my hair was thicker, denser and had a tighter curl pattern, I think that this type of braid would probably make for a nicely defined braid-out with longevity and the ability to get bigger and better as it got older! Alas, I don’t think that is meant to be for me.

Well here are a few more pics.


Have you tried box braids? If so, what products do you use to style? How many days/weeks do you get out of them? What are the challenges? Do you get a good braid-out when releasing this protective style?