Tag Archives: low manipulation styles

Bunning Challenge: Week One Buns

Standard

Hey guys. So, you see that I’m still off of a normal posting schedule. Though we are back in the house, I’m still off my game. This weekend, going to try to get the house back in order, hit the grocery store and work up a lot of overdue posts for next week. Until then, this is just a quick post to tell you what I’ve done with my hair for the first week of the Hairscapades Bunning Challenge!

I de-shedded and pre-pooed (Aubrey GPB + HSR + Vatika Oil) on Sunday after we got home (. Despite being overdue for a wash by a week, my hair felt pretty good. It didn’t smell the best … lol … but it felt and looked soft and decently moisturized! That definitely reinforced the benefits of bunning for me and encouraged me with this challenge.

I usually like to keep my pre-poo in overnight, but overnight turned into me rocking a pre-poo bun through Wednesday night.

 

Left: Mon & Tues bunned twists. Cute? Not really. Functional? Yup!; Right: Wed mid-height bun.

Finally, on Wednesday night, I sucked it up and washed my hair. But, I phoned it in. *lol* What I mean, is that I didn’t go full throttle. I washed my hair loose and I didn’t deep condition. I figured, with a three day pre-poo, my hair was moisturized enough. And, you know what? It went fine. Here’s a quick run down.

Wash Day

  • Shampooed with diluted *Bye Bye Parabens Rosemary Mint shampoo.
  • Conditioned and detangled with *Bye Bye Parabens Rosemary Mint conditioner.
  • Blotted hair with Curl Cloth to sop up the drippies.
  • Applied Mizani True Textures Curls Soft Leave-in to hair in four sections.
  • Set hair in 6 braids using Mizani True Textures Curl Set Jelly.
  • Sealed ends with Wonder Curl Polishing Pomade.

*Note: Bye Bye Parabens contains non-water soluble silicones. 

The next morning, my hair wasn’t completely dry, so I sat under my hard bonnet dryer for about 20-30 minutes. It still wasn’t fully dry, but I released it anyway with a little more Wonder Curl Polishing Pomade. Then, I tried something new! Over the weekend, I came across a post on The Mane Objective (who’s participating in the bunning challenge! Yea!!) about her DIY fluffy styling cream inspired by Naptural85. Well, I didn’t go so far as to make it. Noooo. LOL! But, I have this Pooka Pure & Simple Cocoa Baby Whipped Cream body cream that has similar ingredients (shea butter, cocoa butter, avocado oil, coconut oil, olive oils and Vitamin E). So, I figured, “What the heck?” I love re-purposing stuff, so I applied the body cream to my edges and tied them down with a satin scarf for the ride to work. I also loosely twisted and clipped up the length of my hair to allow it to dry more and reduce frizzing.

Once I got to work, I released my hair for a nicely defined braid-out … that I bunned shortly thereafter.


I actually think I look nicer with my bun! #WINNING

So, I think I’ll wear my hair down this weekend … maybe … then, I’ll I’ll skip washing my hair this weekend and will bun it through next week as well.

HAPPY FRIDAY!!

****************************************************************************************************************************

So, to my Bunning Challenge ladies, how is your first week going? To all my other ladies, what’s up with you? How did you rock your hair this week? Are you rocking a new winter style or do you see one in your future?

Advertisements

Hairscapades Bunning Challenge

Standard

Told you that it was coming soon ;)! LOL! Before Hurricane Sandy interfered with my best-laid plans :P, I wanted to debut a bunning challenge on Hairscapades for the month of November! As many of you know, I wore my hair out a LOT this summer after a layered haircut in June. And though I still saw some great length retention at my front, sides and crown, the longest section in the back remained pretty stagnant.


Right: 6/15/12 ; Left: 10/20/12

So, I decided that I wanted to go into protective styling mode and a bun challenge might be a great way to get started and stay motivated. But, Frankenstorm interfered with my announcement posts plans. However, at the same time, it jump-started my personal challenge as I couldn’t wash my hair on my normal weekly schedule because I haven’t had power or hot water for 11 days. So, I got to bunning last Saturday … without you guys *sheepish grin*.

But, earlier today, I shared my Best Bun Practices as a lead-in for the challenge announcement! You can follow my regimen there or create your own. The key is to make certain that you build a regimen that is gentle, doesn’t put unnecessary stress or excess tension on your edges and strands, tucks your ends, and reduces environmental and mechanical damage.

Bunning Challenge Guidelines

  • This challenge will run for two full months from Sunday, November 11, 2012 to Saturday, January 12, 2013.
  • The only rule is that you must wear your hair in a bun style for a minimum of 5 days a week for the course of the challenge.
  • I will host “virtual” check-ins at the beginning of each week with short posts that I’ll gear towards answering questions I receive from you guys about techniques, products, challenges, setbacks, concerns, etc.
  • I have created a Hairscapades Bunning Challenge 2012″ FB album, so that everyone can share pics of their buns! To submit a pic, e-mail me at hairscapades@gmail.com. I’ll update the album as I receive pics or weekly. You can also share your pics on Instagram! Just use hashtag #hairscapadesbunchallenge and tag me at @hairscapades please!

So, want in?

To participate: List your name, starting length and your 2 month goal in the comments below. In addition, please indicate how many days a week you plan to bun and the core steps of your regimen (listing products is optional). And, if you just want to go hog monkey wild, send me a starting pic for the Bunning Challenge FB album too ;)!

And now, I’ll “officially” kick this thing off!!

_______

Name: Shelli aka Hairscapades aka Skills

Starting length: Armpit to waist length

Goal: Grow and retain an additional inch of hair all around.

Weekly Regimen: Pre-poo, wash, condition, deep condition (alternate moisturizing and protein, as needed) and stretch hair with a braid-out, twist out or some other method. Bun 5-6 days a week and wear my hair down 1-2 days a week.

________

Ready? Let’s go!! 😉

Best Bun Practices for Length Retention

Standard

With the cold weather breathing down my neck and the drying air that accompanies the cool temps, as well as the return of friction-causing, lint-spreading, tangle-inducing sweaters, coats, scarves and hats, it seemed like a good time to bring back protective styling in force!!! So, I’ve decided to embark on my own personal bunning challenge for the next month or two. However, as many of you know, constant bunning can cause more harm than good if done haphazardly or without good techniques. It can be murder on your edges and crown and result in some nasty detangling sessions if done improperly. So, if healthy length retention is your goal, it’s important to establish a strong regimen.

That being said, I decided to put together a list of bunning steps and techniques that I’ve found give me the biggest bang for my buck! Hope that you find them helpful!

BUILDING A BUNNING REGIMEN

  • Start with clean and well-conditioned hair. A dirty scalp can clog pores and cause “the itchies.” Dirty hair can collect lint and dirt that cause knots and tangles, resulting in breakage. Dry and/or weak hair is more susceptible to damage and breakage. So, wash, condition/detangle and deep condition (moisturizing or protein, as needed) weekly or every two weeks. (Note: You can find my wash day regimen here.)
  • Apply a leave-in conditioner and/or moisturizer.
  • If desired, massage scalp with a stimulating oil such as Wild Growth Hair Oil, Jamaican Black Castor Oil or an essential oil mix like the one I shared here.
  • Seal hair using an oil, butter or follow the L.O.C. Method.
  • Stretch curls, kinks and coils with twists, braids, Bantu knots or lightly blow-out to reduce tangles and single-strand knots. Stretching also makes it easier to thoroughly re-moisturize hair, when needed.
  • Bun hair after it dries fully. Bunning wet can cause mildew and/or result in over-conditioned/weak hair if the hair can’t dry.
  • Wear buns in different styles and positions. This reduces repeated tension on the same areas and alleviates boredom! Don’t forget, you can wear your bun high, low, to the side, to the other side, make multi-buns, roll, tuck, braid, twist, pin-curl and/or add extra hair too!! Check out YouTube, other hair blogs and my Style Library for oodles of ideas!

 

  • Don’t pull hair too tightly!! Your edges and nape will thank you! Plus, a loose, messy bun can be fun, relaxed, sophisticated and sexy ;)!
  • Use hair-friendly tools to secure your buns. There are a lots of options available and you don’t have to choose just one! Hair bungees, ouchless/metal-free hair elastics, satin scrunchies, silicone ponytail holders, banana clips and/or comfort flex barrettes are all great tools. You can also go the homemade route! Try cutting the leg of a pair of opaque tights into a 1-2 inch loop to make a DIY ponytail holder!
  • Be careful with bobby and hair pins! Don’t stab your scalp and use as few pins as needed to secure your style. Your scalp/head shouldn’t be sore or hurt while or wearing a bun or after releasing it. If it is, those are signs that the scalp is being traumatized and/or the style is too tight. Also, use good quality, undamaged pins to prevent snagging and tearing (check out this post for the Best Bobby Pins! They are totally worth the investment IMHO).
  • If you are using a gel for hold, ensure that it is free of drying alcohols. Not sure which alcohols are drying?  Check out Skills Notes: Product Ingredients!
  • Smooth the surface of hair leading to the bun(s) lightly with a firm, natural bristle brush or a fine-tooth comb laid flat on its side. Yes!! I said a fine-tooth comb!! I just learned about this from watching this video by my girl MyHairFetish, where she demonstrates how this enemy of natural-haired women everywhere is converted from foe to friend!!

(I’ve only tried this a couple of times, but I’ll be forsaking my Phillips teasing brush for a fine-toothed comb for the immediate future.)

  • Don’t brush/comb through to your scalp/roots. Simply smooth the top surface of the hair and tie edges down with a silk or satin scarf for 10-15 minutes to set.
  • Release bun and re-moisturize and seal as needed between wash sessions. For some, this may be every day, for others it may be a few times a week and for others still, it may not be at all between wash sessions. This is entirely dependent upon your hair’s needs. The important thing is to make certain that your hair doesn’t become dry and brittle.
  • Wear a silk/satin scarf or bonnet at night and/or sleep on a silk/satin pillowcase.
  • Wear hair bunned for a minimum of 5-6 days a week.

BONUS BUNNING TIPS

And here are a few extra tips to make a bunning regimen work for you!

  • Think you hair is too short to bun? Maybe not! If you can make a ponytail, you can probably bun. Try stretching, using a sock bun and/or adding extension hair for length and fullness!!
 Check out the many wonderful YouTube mavens for ways to make buns work for short to medium-length hair.
  • Feeling bored and ho-hom? Dont forget to accessorize! Dress up buns with cute accessories like bows, headbands, flowers (my fave!), broaches, hair sticks, hair forks, snoods, etc. Just make certain that your accessories are gentle and don’t snag or dry hair.
  • Brrrrrr!!! Cold ears a concern? Don’t forget your earmuffs or opt for more stylish and trendy winter headbands! To keep knits, cotton, wool and fleece from robbing your hair of healthy moisture, tie a small silk or satin scarf under the headband or sew a piece of silk or satin fabric to the inside to make your own custom lining. Choose a pretty printed fabric to up the cuteness factor! Or, you can just buy pre-made satin-lined headbands like these flowered and sequined ones sold on Hatsome.com!
  • Ends looking and feeling jacked? Get a trim or do it yourself because, who wants to retain ratchet looking length?!

Sooooo … that’s all I got. Now, about my personal bunning challenge. It actually may not remain that way! If you’re interested in joining me, stay tuned for the “official” buning challenge announcement, which is coming very soon!

*****************************************************************************************************************

Do you bun for length retention? What techniques work for you? What Best Bun Practices would you add to the list?

Pom-Pom Buns

Standard

9/24/12 UPDATED WITH PHOTO SOURCE & VIDEO TUTORIAL!!

Here’s an idea!! A slight different take on multi-buns! Me likey!! And, I think I could pull it off with a banana clip!! Need a pretty broach though! Mmmmmm … or maybe an ear cuff with an attached hair comb ;)?!?!?

 

9/24/12 ETA: Earlier today on IG, my girl Seanna-Kaye of NaturalHairDoesCare gave me the source of the lovely lady and style above! So, I wanted to share the name of our “mystery” blogger and her video tutorial here! Seems that this is really a single high bun though!! Who woulda thunk?!

via CassandraBeccai.com

Hmmm, I wonder if that hair comb trick would work for me?!? I’ll have to try it!

Likey or No Likey?

August GOC Update: Cococrispecurl (#32)

Standard

Hair
Hi Ladies! Checking in for the month of August! After seeing Adrienne’s Yarn Braids at Shelli’s DMV Hair Meet-Up earlier this year, I became obsessed with them. I researched them on YouTube for months and came to the conclusion that I needed a professional installation; however all the braiders I spoke to didn’t know what I was talking about. I ended up reaching out to my oldest and dearest friend’s sister, Samara, who is a loctitian, and she was happy to give it a try.

The day before I was still scouring YouTube for installation tips, preparation and maintenance and I came across GranolaHeads2010 installation video:

via Granolaheads2010 (aka StayWoo: GOC Contender #1)

I noticed that she was doing something different: Yarn Wraps! I liked this idea better than braids, because my hair would be completely covered, thereby protected from the elements. And, with the length of my hair being what it is, seeing my hair mixed with yarn all the way down may not have been as visually pleasing as I imagined it to be. After a quick text and sending GranolaHeads2010’s video to Samara, I was getting Yarn Wraps!

The first thing I did was to get a trim.

The week prior to getting wraps, I went swimming and the chlorine really stripped my hair. I coated it with conditioner, but I should have worn a swim cap. To get it back on track, I did the following:

  • Separated hair into 2 sections.
  • Cleansed and conditioned with Curls Cleanser and Conditioner (first time use: 2 thumbs up).
  • Deep conditioned with Aveda’s Dry Remedy, under the dryer for 30 minutes (first time use: 2 thumbs down. BOO! I returned it the next day for a refund.)
  • Re-applied Curls Conditioner for 5 minutes in the shower.
  • Rinsed and finished with cool water.
  • Applied a teaspoon of Curls conditioner.
  • Separated hair into 4 sections.
  • Applied Karen’s Body Beautiful Hair Butter (mixed with my own oils) from root to tip and braided each section.

It was still damp in the morning, but that’s okay. I don’t like it to be totally dry when I take it out.
At night, I braided my hair into 4 sections and applied hair butter to the ends and edges.

The day before getting braids:

  • Pre-pooed for 15 minutes under the dryer with EVOO and coconut oil. I focused on my edges, kitchen and ends.
  • Shampooed scalp with Head N Shoulders.
  • Cleansed hair with Curls cleanser and conditioner.
  • Deep conditioned with a homemade concoction
  • Applied Bed Head Moisture Maniac for 5 minutes in the shower. Rinsed lightly.
  • Separated hair into 4 sections, and followed the L (water), O (coconut oil), C (Karen’s Body Beautiful Creamylicious) method from root to tip.
  • Loosely twisted each section so it would dry by my appointment.
  • In the morning, applied another layer of KBB Creamylicious to each section.

Installation Day:
After 29 hours (Day 1 = 13 hours; Day 2 = 16 hours), it was finally done! I love, love, love them!! I forgot how tender-headed I am, especially around my edges and kitchen. Samara was careful and used bigger sections. After a week, I was able to move them around and begin playing with styles. Side note: Africa’s Best Organics Itch Relief Cornrow & Scalp Remedy is a lifesaver. I plan on keeping them in for six weeks. Hopefully, I’ll see some growth and my ends will be in good shape.

I’ve been going to Samara weekly for maintenance and styles. My original intention was to try new styles (braids, ponytails, buns) on my own, but after seeing all the styles that can be done with locs, decided to treat them as such and have been getting loc styles. I cannot stop touching them!

Yarn Wrap Regimen:
After two weeks, I cleansed my scalp with a toothbrush and Head and Shoulders and used a mixture of KBB Sweet Ambrosia, Giovanni Direct Leave-in, coconut oil, jojoba oil and water from scalp to ends. Next month, if I wash it again (wraps are painfully heavy when wet), I’ll use my sulfate-free shampoo and add castor oil to the mixture. Head & Shoulders was way too drying.


Health & Fitness:
I’ve started a new meal plan/program and have lost 13 pounds so far.

Happy Growing Ladies!

Check out Cococrispecurl’s other GOC-The Sequel posts here:
Initial Submission
April Update
May/June/July Update

And stay tuned for her September update to learn about the Yarn Wraps take down and hear her final thoughts on this protective style!

“Fake It Til You Make It”

Standard

Yesterday, you may have noticed this lovely little updo in the pictures that I shared from the One World, Many Naturals Natural Hair Expo. Well, of course when I saw it, I had to ask how it was done! The beautiful “model,” Brittany of Herbalocity, graciously obliged by providing me with the name of the YouTuber and video that inspired her style.

via ImmaDstarra

You’ll note that the inspiration style included a swoop. But Brittany advised me that she was in a rush that day, so she just did the twist, bun and kept it moving! And, it still turned out beautifully. Just goes to show that you can give you own twist out of creativity, serendipity urgency or necessity and still come away with beautiful results!!

Have you faked it until you made it or would you?

How I Retain Length

Standard

Last week, I mentioned that I was getting quite a few questions about what I do/did to get my hair to its current length. Usually when I get asked that question, I’ll point to my regimen post. But, to be honest, that is ever evolving and what I may be doing or using today may be totally different a week or two from now. So, I started to think about the various Tips and Tricks that I’ve shared over the last year. Then, I grouped them into categories of things that I consistently do to retain as much length as I can.

Right now, my hair is the longest that it’s ever been in my life … not ADULT life … my ENTIRE life. I have what is viewed as a “looser curl” and some assume that length automatically comes with that. However, I was not one of those little girls with a thick, long ponytail hanging down her back until the yearning for a “perm” set-in and destroyed her long, luxurious mane.

Instead, my hair was fine, frizz prone and armpit length was probably the longest it ever was pre- or post relaxer. All this to say that, at 40 years of age and 12 years natural, my hair is the longest that it has ever been … EVER.

Now here’s the disclaimer! LOL! This post isn’t to say that I’ve got this length retention thing down to an exact science, that my methods are the only ones that work, that I don’t have setbacks or that I have a perfect head of hair. I am trying to grow out a shorter, dryer, coarser and more breakage-prone crown, a shorter nape, transition out henna-loosened ends and recover from the amla induced “Great Shed of 2010.” I don’t have a perfectly even, thick perimeter and although my longest areas have reached waist length, not all of my hair has (I’m testing Chicoro’s “Lead Hair” Theory and the goal point method of trimming). So, yeah … my hair is a work in progress and I hope some of the things that I learned and began incorporating late last year will help me to achieve healthier, thicker, stronger and longer hair in the twenty twelve!!

So, without further ado, here are the 3 things that I am doing to “grow” my hair long or, more accurately, retain the length that I grow!

1. MOISTURIZE: Every week (or two weeks at the most), I pre-poo with Vatika or coconut oil, deep condition, apply a leave-in conditioner and seal with an oil. I re-apply a water-based moisturizer and seal between wash sessions, as needed.

2. PROTECT: I’m not just talking about protective styling. I think about protection as everything I do to reduce stress on my hair and prevent “premature” breakage. I finger detangle, use gentle hair accessories and tools, search and destroy to trim knots and splits that can cause “collateral damage” to adjacent strands, sleep on a satin pillowcase, wear a satin scarf or bonnet every night and wear low manipulation/protective styles that tuck away my ends 5-6 days a week.

3. STRENGTHEN: Throughout most of 2011, this element was largely missing from my regimen and I think it resulted in preventable breakage. But, I rectified this in November 2011, learned how to use protein correctly and began incorporating strengthening protein treatments every 2-3 weeks, or as needed. I also use henna. But, as I do roots-only treatments due to curl loosening caused by repeated applications, it isn’t sufficient as a strengthening agent alone. So, it became imperative for me to begin using protein to reinforce the “structural integrity” of my strands.

Here are a few pictures that show my progress from 2008, when I had my hair cut to ear length straight, to present.

Sept. 22, 2008

Feb. 19, 2011 (post 2-3″ trim)

Feb. 5, 2012

Feb. 10, 2012

Check out How I Retain Length-Part Two here.

*********************************************************************************************************

 What do you do to retain length?