Tag Archives: styles

Style Savior: A Dry Braid Out

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So, by Tuesday night, my wash and go looked like a wash and stop. LOL! No, seriously, the definition was all but gone and I had turned into a wild-looking frizz beast! I got home and thought, “Man, look at this! I look like a hassled mess!” And, given that I had been feeling like I was running around the office like a chicken with its head cut off all day, I looked like I felt!!

Anywho, I knew that I had to do something and washing my hair was not an option. I didn’t want to bun as I was afraid that my hair would be a nightmare of tangles by the time I got around to washing it, if I did that. So, I decided to try to salvage my old, frizzy WnG with a dry braid-out. I broke out the Aubrey Honeysuckle Rose (HSR) Conditioner and my newest acquisition, Wonder Curl Butter than Love Whipped (WC BTLW). As you know, I love the WC BTL Pudding, but had never tried the Whipped, which is a thicker and more moisturizing version of the Pudding.

Once I figured out which products I was going to use, I did the following:

  • Diluted a small amount of  Aubrey HSR with water in a spray bottle.
  • Separated one side of my hair from the back, lightly spritzed it with the diluted Aubrey HSR and gently finger detangled the section.  Surprisingly to me, the detangling was relatively easy!
  • Applied a finger full of WC BTLW and tightly braided section to about 2-3 inches from the end. Twirled the end around my finger to form the natural curl. Applied a little more WC BTLW to ends.
  • Repeated process 5 times to make a total of 6 braids (1 on each side of my face and 4 in back).

  • I smoothed a little more WC BTLW on my crown, then tied a wide scarf around my edges, leaving the braids to hang free for bedtime.
  • In the morning, I spread a pea-sized amount of Amazing Botanicals JBCO in my palms and then smoothed my hands down my braids and released them.
  • I fluffed my turning my head upside down and massaging the roots.
  • Finally, I placed some Eco Styler Olive Oil gel on my edges and tied my hair down with a narrower satin scarf (it’s one of the wide ones cut in half) until I got halfway to work. (Smooth edges make my style look a lot neater ;).)
And this was the finished look at the end of the work day.
This is actually my first stretched style since I got the haircut!! Again, I can really see the difference that this cut has made in the appearance and curl of my ends!!! Makes me so happy :)! Anywho, I definitely think that this braid out will take me through Friday. I think I’m done with WnG for a little while … they are more tangle prone. But, as of now, I haven’t figured out what I’m doing with it this weekend. Whatever it is, it’ll probably start with braids or twists and will be up most of next week!
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What are your weekend hair plans?
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Protective Styling Boring?

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[PIC HEAVY]

On Sunday, I decided to start going through my photo “archives” from 2011 to present to build a Protective Styles album on Facebook. And, it started me thinking about the recent questions I’ve been receiving about how I’ve been able to “grow” my hair long. I put grow in parentheses as I think “growing” hair long is generally a misnomer. As many of us know, absent a medical condition, our hair is always growing. Shoot, how many used to relax every 4-8 weeks, because that new growth was coming in so fast? So, yeah, that smashes the concept that our hair doesn’t grow. However, what is often happening when hair plateaus at a certain length is that we aren’t retaining that growth.

Enter protective styling. Now, there are a variety of factors that I believe have contributed to my ability to achieve my current length, which is the longest my hair has ever been, though it’s still a work in progress. What I do know is that protective styling (i.e. wearing styles where my ends are tucked) has played a major part in helping me get where I am now and will continue to be of benefit. But wait. Let me be more precise. Low manipulation protective styling has played a major part in helping me get closer to my goals.

You see, unlike those with hair of heartier stock, my fine strands can’t deal with too much pulling, tugging, braiding, twisting, cornrowing, flat-twisting, etc. So, I learned about a year and a half ago that my hair fares much better when I stretch it with twist-outs or TnCs and then place it in protective styles that can be done in 5-15 minutes with large sections of hair and pretty much left alone for several days or even a week at a time. Although I love the idea and look of small twists, mine tend to unravel. So, having to re-twist every couple of days kind of defeats the purpose of that particular protective style (though, I still wear twists on occasion). And wearing my hair down results in tangles, knots, splits and breakage due to friction and debris!

Now, to my real point. I have often read the sentiments like the following about protective styling: “What’s the point of growing your hair long if you always have to hide it?” and “Protective styling is boring.” But, I’d like to posit that “hiding” one’s hair can be anything but boring and is actually fun! In the last year and a half, I have done more simple, protective styles than I can even remember. The key for me has been to:

  1. Play around with a few gentle tools and accessories (i.e. banana clips, satin scrunchies, bobby pins, Spin Pins, Comfort Flex barrettes, flowers, hair sticks, headbands and *gasp* braiding hair! *lol*).
  2.  Search YouTube for inspiration from all sources, not just naturals with my texture and/or length (shoot, one of my favorite Youtubers for protective styling inspiration is Lilith Moon, a Russian blonde with naturally straight, shoulder length, thin hair).
  3. Use my imagination.

With those things, I have found protective styling to be enjoyable and generally prefer to wear my hair up and hidden, over down and out, most days of the week.

So, with some creativity, a few hair tools, a little time and patience, I think protective styling can be fun, fancy, and fierce for hair of all different textures and lengths. And, bonus!!  Switching up protective styles from week to week can save our strands from repeated tension on the same areas, which can cause thinning and breakage. With that, here is a sampling of the protective styles that I’ve done over the last year and a half. The same old plain bun and twists aren’t our only options!!

(Check out the Style Library to find tutorials for most of the styles pictured.)

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Do you love/prefer protective styling or do you find it boring? What challenges do you face with it? 

Versatility

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I just love the versatility of natural hair. I was especially aware of it this week when I went from twists to a tame twist-out to a huge twist-out and back to a twisted-bun in less than 24 hours without washing my hair or using any heat and with minimal product, time and effort.

(I used a sock bun in the last two pics)

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Do you find your natural hair versatile? Do you prefer to stick with the tried and true or are you a switch up artist?

Miss Leah’s Twist ‘N Curl

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by Miss Leah of A Diamond Through the Fire

Remember I said I would be doing some new things for March … Well here is my first tutorial on how I do my Twist and Curl hairstyle. This is a staple style that’s been in my arsenal since last year and I love the way it turns out (most of the time). The steps are easy. You just need a few things:

  • Favorite Shampoo (I’m partial to Giovanni 50/50)
  • Favorite Conditioner (Again, I’m partial to Giovanni 50/50 and Aussie Moist)
  • Perm Rollers (Featured HERE) I like these because the rod is skinny. A skinny flexi rod or straw and bobby pins would do the trick too.
  • Favorite Moisturizer (I used Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie)
  • Favorite Oil (I use any oil that’s within reach; this is just for sealing the ends)
  1. This style works BEST on clean hair, so give your tresses a good scrubbin’.
  2. Next, make sure that you condition your hair. I always end up following with a good deep conditioning just to make the hair extra soft, but that is totally up to you.
  3. You want to section the hair into 4 sections: part (with your finger) ear to ear and forehead to nape of neck.
  4. Within each section, you should section at least 4 sections.
  5. Smooth a light amount of moisturizer down the length of your hair and seal the end with oil and two strand twist the hair.
  6. Take your perm roller and roll the ends.
  7. Do this for each section of your hair.
  8. Sleep in a satin bonnet or set the style under a hooded dryer (I normally sleep on the style and it’s dry by the morning).
  9. Once dry, take down the rollers and undo the twists.
  10. Separate each twist 3 to 4 times, but make sure to do it gently or it will frizz up.
  11. Fluff and style and GO :). You should have cute ringlets that are bouncy and spring back when you pull on them.
  12. To maintain the look, I normally sleep with a satin bonnet. I bobby pin the side back where I normally lay my head (right side) and in the morning I’ll fluff and and reset some of the curls.

How to create a Twist and Curl FAIL
I have learned that using too much moisturizer or oil can result in a twist and curl fail. This just means the curls will not be defined. Also, taking down the twists while wet will have the same effect. If your 2 strand twists are too large, the curl will not be as defined either. The pictures below are my failed Twist and Curls.

Lopsided Twist and Curl

Twist and Curl FAIL!

This turned into a bun.

Twist ‘n Curl with Curlformers

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I did a post a few months ago called, If At First You Don’t Succeed. It was about how mastering a style can sometimes take a lot of time and experimentation. In it, I shared how it took me a year and a lot of different sets to find a TnC technique that gave me the results I was seeking. That being said, if you’re trying to perfect your TnC, here’s a clever and inventive technique that might be the ticket!!

via TraNaturally

Beautiful, beautiful hair! I bet this could be done with flexi-rods too!

Another Simple Twisted Updo

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I came across this video tutorial for a cute and simple twisted style on longhaircareforums.com about a week or two ago. I decided to try it last night!

via LuxyHair

The hardest part was making the sections around my face the right size so that I had enough hair to do three twists on either side. Also, I felt like I had too much hair in the last big twist that was rolled and tucked at the nape in the video. So, instead, I twisted the last two twists to the end and forming small buns that I secured at my nape with additional bobby pins.

I may place the back section into three big twists instead of two to form three mini-buns. I could also make one big bun with one twist or wrapping the two twists around each other. This is definitely a style that I’ll try again in order to play around with variations on the final section. This is another style that I think would work for a variety of lengths, from neck to TBL (with modifications)!

Wash ‘n Go Success

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by CurlsDivine

I didn’t want to disappoint Hairscapades by not sharing the new love I have for Wash & Go’s that I told you about in my Final GOC Update. I have been experimenting with Wash ‘n Go’s since I BC’d in 2011. Actually, it was the first hairstyle I tried and I hated it. I was so freaking disgusted with how my hair turned out. I tried them again in February, May and June 2011 and finally just threw my hands up and said, “Forget a stupid Wash ‘n Go!” Yeah I was pretty upset.

Well, I’m a stalker on YouTube and I just couldn’t stop looking at the way Mahogany Curls did her WnGs and how easily she did them. I thought, “Conditioner only? No way. My hair is way too frizzy for just conditioner, I’m gonna have to add some gel of some sort.” So, I tried it.

At first, I used the Cantu Shea Butter and Eco Styler Gel. It was good, but not perfect. Then, for some odd reason, I made a trip to Walgreens and picked up some TRESemmé Naturals (I thought, “What the heck? For $2.99, if it doesn’t work, I can return it.) and Target for Kinky Curly Curling Custard (KCCC). I got home that night, did my WnG routine and, Oh My Friggin Gosh, genius (as Curly Nikki would say)! My hair reacted to this combination as though I should have known sooner. All I can say is …well, I’m at a loss for words right now!

I did a full blown henna treatment this weekend and results where even better. I got everything a girl with curls asks for all in one: moisture for days, SHINE, DEFINED CURLS, NOT A PEEK OF FRIZZ, BODY and the 2nd day hair is even more gorgeous … What?!?!

I will say the only thing that I have not figured out is how to quickly dry without using a diffuser. I really don’t want to use much heat. But since my hair holds water like a beast, that is the only answer. I DO put the diffuser on cool for 90% of my drying and warm for the remaining 10%. I also spray a little heat protectant, just in case. Aside from that, I’m all in when it comes to wash and gos now.

Here are my steps to the perfect WnG:

  • Shampoo and condition or co-wash.
  • Detangle, rinse and dry with a tee-shirt.
  • Put a nickel-size amount of oil of your choice throughout the hair (I use grapeseed).
  • Part hair into four sections.
  • Start with one section and rake conditioner of choice through until hair is saturated (I use TRESemmé Naturals).
  • Rake gel of choice through section (I use KCCC).
  • Repeat until all sections are done.
  • Diffuse until dry!

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How do you WnG?