Quick morning routine

Protective styling has its benefits! It took me one hour to install  medium twists. I plan on keeping them in for 2 weeks, moisturizing my ends on an as-needed basis. If you think about it, one hour divided by 14 days is equivalent to about 4 minutes styling per day. So looking at the big picture, one hour is not a lot at all.

I’m often discouraged to protective style, particularly put my hair in twists, because: A) I like to wear my hair out B) it seems time-consuming and C) requires more planning and preparation than a wash n go or a twist-out.

However, this morning it took me a whole 2 minutes to pin my hair up into this bun and move on with my business. I have to admit, it was totally worth it. Not to mention, my ends are extremely hydrated, as they’re protected from harsh elements and tucked away most of the time.

I can’t say, I’ll protective style all the time. However, I get what all the fuss is about.

Do you protective style? If you do, what are some of your favorite to-go-to options for protective styling?

FullSizeRender

Advertisements

Blown-out Twist-out

This is by far my favorite to-go-to hairstyle in the spring and fall, when the weather is warm and dry. I simply, blow dry my hair, my goal is not bone straight blown out hair, but just stretched hair. A heat protectant and small amount of leave-in was applied before blowdrying my hair. Next I put my hair in big chunky flat twists and unravel the next day. I enjoy this style, because it’s soft and fluffy. I get to enjoy the length of my hair for a bit. In addition, this style lasts longer than my wet/damp set twists, typically 10 – 14 days. I follow-up by oiling my ends each night and placing my hair back in jumbo twists. Love the versatility of natural hair!

I’m mostly doing my usual routine (clay wash, occasional slippery elm detangle, deep conditioning and sealing with oil and for the most part skipping the leave-in). This week, I started with a new practice and that’s oiling my scalp before I wash my hair. I’ll post on that soon.Have you ever oiled your scalps, is it part of your regimen?

blwtwt

Twisted Twist Out Feat. Slippery Elm and Dry Deep Conditioning

Happy Spring. Hope you’re all enjoying milder weather, blooming trees and longer days.

I’m no hair styling queen and rarely post on styling. However, I’ve found a twist-out method that I had to share. So there are different twist out techniques. I’ve used two on my hair. 1. The two strand twist. This is simple. You take two pieces of hair, wind them round and round from the roots to the tips. 2. The flat twist. This one is a little more involved, you take small sections of hair and twist them from root to tip, incorporating more as you work your way down. Kind of like a french braid, but a twist instead. I find method 1 is faster and easier for novices like myself. The latter method takes times, but yields more defined  results than the first.

Since, I’m low on time, I typically do two strand twists. Recently, I accidentally enhanced this style. I don’t have pictures or a video, but it’s quite easy to explain. You put your hair in twists. Let it air dry, or as I prefer partially dry under a hooded dryer. You then wind/twist the twisted hair around from root almost to then ends, but not all the way down (to reduce manipulation on the ends of your hair), pin the twisted twists, in place with a hair pin, so they don’t unwind. This method results in a more defined and stretched twist out. When you’re twisting your twists, it’s a similar motion to making a bantu knot, but not as tight.

Another new technique I’m using to get a different  style and more defined look counter clockwise twisting (just made the name up). I twist towards my face, so the curls go forward rather than off my face. I like the final look a lot more than my usual twisting direction.

Finally, I’m loving my short on time, dry deep conditioning routine. My hair is still very moisturized and it’s a great alternative to rhassoul. Here’s what I do:

  1. Apply a deep conditioner mix. This week it was coconut milk, Giovanni deeper moisture, a few drops coconut oil and honey.
  2. Sit under a dryer for 20 – 30 minutes.
  3. While conditioner is still in my hair, shampoo my hair. Rinse.
  4. Apply my slippery elm mixture, apply some consitioner on top of that (Aussie Moist, this week) and detangle.

I then sealed my hair with jojoba oil and applied leave-in to my ends.

Here’s the final result.

Now to you, I’m curious… Have you ever used slippery elm? What’s your favorite stretched style?

Keep calm, put down that flexirod and carry on

How often does this happen to you? It’s a normal Sunday evening. You’ve decided to relax and go to bed on time. You look in the mirror and just feel like changing your look, cutting your hair, dying your hair, just something different. You pick up the scissors, contemplating cutting, when suddenly you decide, a new style is probably just what you need. Your eyes scan your hair styling tools and suddenly before you know it, you’re on YouTube searching for “flexirod set on natural stretched hair”. Naptural85’s video pops up in your results as the number 1 video and you love her videos, so somehow feel it’s meant to be. You watch the video and are motivated at how simple it all seems, gel, brush, set, sleep and voila hair commercial results. So that’s where I am now, getting ready for a night of uncomfortable “pretty” sleep and wake up and wonder, WHY???

flex

I guess I was blinded by Naptural’s awesome results.

 

 

Wash Sleep and Go

WSG

Every week I twist, turn, braid and/or knot my hair. I’m always pre-styling. It’s been months since I’ve done a wash and go. So I felt one was in order this week. Besides, I generally notice by day 3 or 4, twist outs and any “out” for that matter is not really forgiving on my ends. Especially, with dry winter weather and knit sweaters, my poor ends usually take a beating. So I’m going to try wash and gos for a little now, to see whether leaving my ends alone at night (i.e. no manipulation), will protect them.

I used to give a *Kanye shrug* when I read about protective styling, I just didn’t feel  it did anything for me. Now that my hair is longer and rubs against my clothes when stretched, I’m starting to see the light. I know, I know, you’re probably saying to yourself “a wash and go is the furthest from protective styling– single strand knots (ssks)!” However, I want to test it out, because I feel a wash and go provides shrinkage, which reduces contact with my clothes. We shall see. In any case, it’s been a while since I’ve worn my curls as is and right now I’m loving it.

So back to the post of this title. I call this style a Wash Sleep and Go, because I washed my hair at night. Here’s how I achieved the result.

Evening before – Washed and conditioned my hair. Applied a generous amount of Cantu Leave-In (um, love this stuff, review to come soon along with some other fun products I’m trying out), applied gel to entire head. I usually don’t apply a gel, but I wanted some definition and hold. Air dried my hair for a few hours*, split it in two, twisted each section into two very large loose twists (leaving my ends untwisted) and pinned them in place. Satin scarf, sleep.

*You want your hair to be more than half-way dry before heading to bed.

Next day – I had a little case of helmet head, but nothing a bit of head banging, shaking and swerving, can’t deal with. My hair feels SO soft and smells really good. It’s shiny and my ends are definitely hydrated. If I notice it’s starting to get a little dry I’ll spritz my ends with leave-in and water and/or wear a chignon.

Do you wash and go in the winter? What are you techniques?

 

Kitchen Chemist: Deep Conditioning Mud Mask

So, my hair hasn’t looked this good in a long time. It’s shiny, soft, moisturized; Curls are popping and even my ends feel good. I’m not sure if it’s a fluke, so I’ll have to test it out again over the next few few weeks.

 

At the moment, I’m trying to develop my own rhassoul clay deep conditioning mask and a detangler with my new favorite ingredient, slippery elm (if you’re a fan of KCKT, you might recognize this ingredient) . I want to give it a few more tries before posting on the process. However, I’m liking the results thus far.

Side note: am I the only one who is team 2nd day hair? I really don’t like how perfect and uniform my hair looks on day 1. I actually pull my hair up into a pony tail on day 1, as I’m all about that slightly messy, more stretched 2nd day look.

Oh and good news, my postpartum shedding has finally calmed the heck down! My edges are starting to grow back in, although the texture of my edges changed somewhat. Did anyone else experience texture changes as a result of pregnancy?

Messy-Chic Bun with The Baby Bliss Wand

I splurged and bought a curling wand the other day. I picked up a Baby Bliss Titanium wand. I don’t know what it is about fall. For some reason in the fall, I always want to try new styles.

Messy-Chic Bun

Before using the wand, I used the tension method to blow dry my hair. This involves just applying low heat to the hair, while gently stretching/tugging at the hair with your hands. It’s less manipulation than direct blow drying and gentler on the hair. I’ll post some links on the tension method below (as well as “no blow dry method” for those who are not into applying any heat to their hair). I didn’t have time to curl my entire head, but I curled a few sections to frame my face. I threw my hair up in a low chignon for a messy-chic  look. I like the result and think I’ll give it another shot, however I might just do this on an old twist/braid out and skip the blow dyer the next time I try it.

photo 1(13)

Regarding the curling wand that I purchased… UGH, It’s alright, I guess. I thought it came with a protective glove, but instead it comes with some weird “finger glove”. How cheap and unreasonable can some companies be?? I’m terrified of burning my fingers , so will have to get comfortable with using it or put on a pair of oven mitts, lol! PS – the entire time I used the wand, I could not shake the image of that girl who burned her hair off while curling her hair.

photo 2(14)

Seriously, this is so awkward to use… They should call this protective lobster claw, as glove is really deceiving.

 

Have you ever curl wanded (is that even a word) your hair? What wa your experience?

Links

Tension method

No blow dry, blow dry method

3-1 Treatment Results

If you read my earlier posts (1, 2), you know that I’ve experimented a little with some natural ingredients (if not click on links 1,2). Well, this morning I unraveled my braids and I’m pleasantly surprised with the results of my 3 in 1 (step treatment). Recap: rhassoul and nettle scalp mask, black tea, rosemary, paprika and marshmallow root tint/color rinse and conditioner, were all applied to my hair and then rinsed simultaneously. This saved me time, allowed me to deep condition my hair, which I don’t do these days.

I really, really like the results of this process. I’ll try to do it once, every other month if possible. My hair is super shiny, soft, defined, moisturized and it looks and feels SO healthy. I notice that my highlights, which have grown out and are only on the ends of my hair, are now a chocolate brown and not as brassy as before. My hair looks a little darker, but it could be a results of all the shine, from this moisturizing treatment.

I highly recommend it for anyone interested in trying. If you don’t have all the ingredients on hand, I’d say the essentials you could try this alternatives, which might be easier to find:

Natural shampoo: diluted apple cider vinegar applied ONLY to the scalp (if you’re low porosity, you know what applying this all over your hair can do (if not, read this). However, applying this directly to your scalp can help lift dandruff and build-up.

Temporary color rinse/tint: strongly brewed black tea or coffee, if you want the solution to be a bit thicker or viscous, try boiling some flax seeds, drain the seeds with a strainer or muslin cloth and add the thick solution to your brewed tint.

Condition: Any conditioner you enjoy using mixed in with the color or added on top of it will do.

There you have it. Have you been whipping up any concoctions in the kitchen lately? Do you think you’ll give this 3-1 treatment a try? If so, let me know what your results are.

Back to B.A.S.I.C.S

If you read my last post then you already know that I haven’t been showing my hair enough love and giving it the attention it needs. Sometimes life gets hectic and honestly I don’t have the time for complicated hair regimens. Still to make sure my hair stays healthy and looks healthy, I’ve decided to just keep it simple and give it time to breathe. Simplicity really is the key to many things in life, I think so, at least. So here is my rule of thumb for keeping it basic.

B – Be gentle

A – Always detangle

S – Shampoo/mud-wash once per week

I – Intense Conditioning

C – Creamy, moisturizing leave-ins

S – Style without manipulating too much

 

That’s it. More than that is not necessary. How do you keep things simple?

IMG_4485