Tag Archives: straightened hair

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?

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Return of Straight Hair … For a Little Bit

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So, on Sunday, when I washed my hair, I decided that I wanted to lightly straighten it. You see, I  have been dying to try some of the braided styles I’ve seen, especially this flat-twisted bun I posted a while back. Now, I don’t know that my hair is thick enough to accomplish it, but nothing to it but to do it … or at least try it!

Back to wash day.  Since I was leaning towards trying a blow-out or flat-iron, I prepped my hair on Sunday.

Flat-Iron Prep

  • Pre-pooed with Aubrey GPB mixed with Vatika Oil (overnight Saturday into Sunday).
  • Shampooed with Cream and Coco Pumpkin Pie shampoo bar. (Quick Review: This was the first time that I’ve ever used a shampoo bar. I’ve been scared of them for fear of difficulty of application, dryness and tangling. But, I used this and I really liked it a lot!! It lathered quickly, my scalp felt very clean, but my hair wasn’t dried or tangled!! And, it smelled DELISH!!)
  • Finger detangled/conditioned with Herbal Essences Hello Hydration.
  • Deep conditioned with Shea Moisture Raw Shea Deep Treatment Masque.
  • Cooled and sealed with diluted Aubrey Green Team Cream Rinse.
  • Gently squeezed out excess water and blotted hair with Curl Cloth.
  • Applied Roux Fermodyl Leave-in Treatment 619 (porosity correcter/detangler/moisturizer).
  • Applied Aveda Brilliant Damage Control (heat protectant).
  • Placed hair into two braids to dry and stretch.
  • Applied a teeny tiny bit of grapeseed oil to my roots and braids and tied down with a silk scarf.

I went to bed and the next morning, my braids were mostly dry, but not totally. I was surprised that they were as dry as they were given the thickness of the braids! But, anywho, ponytailed and bunned up the braids for work.

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This is the thing. I have a blow dryer at home, but no comb attachment. And, I didn’t feel like doing a tension blow-out as it took  my 2 hours the last time (see here). I actually have a flat-iron too, but it was in the trunk in my “Goodwill donations” bag. It’s one that I picked up at Sally’s a few years ago, but the floating plates always caught in my strands. No bueno. And hence why it’s in the donation bag! So, on a whim, I ran home after work, grabbed a 20% off Bed, Bath & Beyond coupon and headed to Harmon Face Values! I knew that I was probably about to drop a dime on a flat-iron, so at least I could save a little!

I stood in the aisle for a bit, compared a Chi and BaByliss online via makeupalley.com (the BaByliss won), then tried to figure out why the Nano Titanium Pro 1 1/4″ ($119) was so much more expensive than the Porcelain ($50), why there was no lowest temp on the Titanium whereas the Porcelain showed 230° and ended up walking to the register with both. Had the lady open the Titanium Pro for me and we figured out the lowest setting was 300°. So, I decided on that one and walked out with it for $102.71 (after discount and with tax). Taking a page from CurlyNikki’s book and “charging it to the game!!” (Although, I may have to comparison shop and see if I can get this joker for cheaper on Amazon!!)

BaByliss Pro Nano Titanium Flat Iron

So now, it was time to go at it.

Flat-Iron Process

  • I released my braids and separated my hair into 4 sections.
  • I gently combed through the sections from tips to roots with a wide-tooth comb.
  • Applied a little more Aveda Brilliant Damage Control and grapeseed oil
  • I re-twisted each section.
  • Heated the flat-iron at the lowest setting of 300°. (Note: This iron has 5 push-button settings: 300°, 340°, 375°, 410°, 450°)
  • Working from the back left section first, I separated about 1-2 inch thin sections and passed the flat-iron through each section ONCE. I was not going for a bone-straight look. (Note: I didn’t use the chase method. Rather, I just held my hair taught as I slowly passed the iron down the length.) 
  • After I finished flat-ironing each big section, I applied a little bit of Wild Growth Hair Oil light to it and then a little of Bye Bye Parabens silicone-based “Extreme Gloss Oil.”
  • I repeated the process until I was done all four sections.

And here’s a gallery of pics as it appears that WordPress has gotten rid of the slideshow option without telling anyone :/.

shrinkage_straight_comparisonShrinkage is a BEAST!! LOL!!

I was very pleased with the BaByliss Nano Titanium Pro!! It did a good job on one pass, my hair retained a nice sheen even before applying the oil, and I didn’t have that burned hair feel or smell. I’m pleased with how my hair looks and feels … for the most part. I do need a trim (probably about 1-2″) as my ends in the back were feeling rough in some areas (left side especially … my problematic area) and I have some serious gappiness. I do have layers, but the back is looking really janky. I’m not going to cut down to the bulk of my hair as I don’t wear it straight often, curly styles blend the layers and I like to have the length to play with. But, I am going to have the length brought up a little closer to the bulk when I get my hair cut and shaped up in mid-December (yup, got my appointment with Tameeka lined up!). I’m still working towards that elusive full perimeter that I see others achieve *sigh*. I’m hoping that what I’m seeing is the residual of the breakage from lack of protein and excessive shedding that I experienced in 2010 and 2011. Given that my hair grows an average of 6″ a year (maybe only 3-4″ in the crown area … the grey there is always shorter than the grey in the front), that would make sense. So, I’m hoping that I will be able to get to full thickness in a year or two as I feel like, this year, I really have figured out all of the things that I need to have the best regimen for me!

Anywho, I went to bed in a bun last night to smooth it and create some soft waves, hopefully. Given that it’s raining, it may stay in one for the day (I swear, it rains almost without fail when I straighten my hair. I could end droughts with this “gift.”). But, I hope to try a braided bun tonight that I can share with you guys this week *fingers crossed*!!

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Okay, that’s it! Gotta go!

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Do you straighten your natural hair? If so, do you blow-out, flat-iron, both? What products and tools give you the best results?