I’m on a 30 day mission to keep my hair twisted. I want low manipulation for growth, strength and low key maintenance. It’s really going well! I’m on day 18 of the challenge, and it’s going great! I have been doing twist outs on my twists, to give them a curly/wavy effect. I’ll be posting tutorials and documenting my process at Naturally Scandalous, my Natural Hair Blog. To see how I created this style, check me out over there! If you want to learn how to wash, moisturize and take care of natural hair, check me out on my Natural Hair Youtube Channel, NaturallyScandalous.
After I decided to boogie board in Virginia Beach last weekend, my hair needed some serious help. Who else would I call other than my loctician, Amira! I’ve been going to her from Day 1, and I’ve never let another person maintain my hair. She’s got 11 years experience, and all of her clients have been going to her for years as well.
In Baltimore, there are VERY few stylists that promote healthy hair, and this is why Amira is so successful. She uses all natural products, which is a major plus for me. Her technique is amazing, so my maintenance stays fresh for weeks and in all types of weather. I knew that she was great when she told me that well over 50% of her clientele come from PG County, DC, Philly, NYC and surrounding states. All I can do is rave over her, and I’m SO happy that she’s taking care of my hair!
Lucky for us, Amira is working full time as a loctician, so you don’t have to wait until Saturday (if you want.) Her services start at $55. Many of her clients go to her once a month (or less frequently than that.) For more information on Amira, check out her website at http://www.mantralocs.com, or email her at Amira@mantralocs.com. To receive $10 off of your first appointment, tell her I sent you!
Mizani products scream ethnic luxury. They are the preferred brand of stylists all over the world. During my relaxed days, I went through many bottles of Hydrafuse Conditioner. Heck, just last week I finished off my bottle of PuriPHying Shampoo for the excessive buildup in my hair. I’m very happy that Mizani sees that natural curls are here to stay, not just a trend. They have created the True Textures collection. You’ll be happy to find a sulfate-free shampoo, moisturizing masque, and various styling products.
The Perfect Curl ($18) lightweight creme gel is a product that’s worth a shot. Sadly, I had to bash many products that were made for curls, but were thick, super smelly and overpriced. This however, is not. Just section wet hair and finger comb through. My preferred method for my teeny curls was to apply to drenched hair, then shake hair like a wet dog. The curls would pop on their own, and then I could separate them as needed. Want more proof? I found the most awesome picture review of these products at Curls, Coils and Kinks! Makes me miss my fro, (although mine wasn’t as fabulous as hers!)
I was super excited to find an all natural mousse. Giovanni Natural Mousse Air-Turbo Charged to the rescue. Every time I use mousse to curl my locs, I feel as if I’m dumping a bottle of alcohol on each strand of hair. Excessive, I know. Well, this product didn’t work for my hair. Now that I have locs, I need something heavy duty for my hair to hold curl. I used this on slightly damp hair (which I usually do). I used small and medium rods, and kept them in overnight. Sadly, my curls only stayed tight for about 2 hours the next day. It might have something to do with the humidity, since this is the first time I’ve worn my hair curled in extreme heat. When I use the leftover Aphogee Mousse for Relaxed Hair, my hair lasts for a week. When I use Oyin Shine N’ Define on my hair, wet, my hair lasts for a week. Oh Giovanni, you let me down.
Natural hair gets dry all year around, of course. One of the most distressful emails I get from people, or read on blogs, etc. Is the cry to end dry hair! Yes, I understand. I’ve been there. That was one of the reasons why I almost relaxed my hair while I had a teeny weeny afro. It was the worst feeling ever. I made this video in early 2009, before I decided to loc my hair. It’s one of my favorite videos because it showed a luscious fro that I adored. I doubt I will stay loc’ed forever, and when the day comes, I’ll make a few changes to regimen. Here’s the video, with a list of products (and new recommendations) below it.
I definitely think it’s best to moisturize your hair in sections. I liked to make 4-6 small afro puff ponytails with bands, and mist it with water or moisturizing spray. After that, I would add the moisturizer of my choice, then seal with oil.
Here are the products mentioned in this video:
Miss Jessie’s Baby Buttercream- It’s one of products that I had to use, even though I didn’t like the ingrediants. It’s overpriced, but it’s awesome. You can find it at Missjessies.com or certain Target stores. Again, I only bought it during the Christmas buy one, get one free sale. I no longer use this product, but I loved it when I had it!
Qhemet Biologics-Amla Heavy Cream-I really liked this, but it was thick and my hair sometimes felt greasy. I used the Miss Jessie’s more.
Castor Oil- Random from Walmart, no name brand. It was $4, found it in the vitamin section.
Giovanni Smooth as Silk Deeper Moisture Conditioner-I found another bottle of this in my cabinet the other day! It’s still great stuff!
Glycerine and Water mix-You can vegtable glycerine at your supermarket and probably drugstore. I stopped using that later in the year and instead used Oyin Handmade Juices ‘N Berries. It’s great to use morning and night, keeps my hair feeling amazing and really refreshes my hair. I’ve got 3 bottles in the house.
If you watch my Youtube videos, you’ll notice that I’ve been wearing my hair in curly updo’s a lot lately. I’m absolutely loving the versatility of my locs, and the same versatility can be achieved with relaxed and natural hair. Every week, I’ve been rodding my hair with a different setting product to find the one that gives the best hold without producing dryness or any flakiness. In my 5 week experiment, the product that has worked best is Oyin Handmade Shine & Define. Honestly, I’m shocked. I’m not saying this is the best because I work there, I didn’t know the product was that good. I’ve used it for years, and really didn’t know it was capable of the magic that I am witnessing!!! When people ask me to describe it, I always say it’s an all natural substitute for mousse, gel and other styling creams. And because it’s all natural, it works perfectly with relaxed and natural hair.
During this rod journey, I’ve tried Mousse, and now I’m searching for a bottle of lottabody to use. I used these when I was relaxed and they worked like a charm. The problem with these is that they are so jam packed with alcohol and other damaging chemicals that I was using a bunch of oils and moisturizers to keep my hair alive. (I used to dilute the lottabody in a spray bottle using 2 parts of the setting lotion and one part water.) I don’t want dry, crunchy hair, but I think I should try all options at least once, just to be fair. I was also a bit hesitant to pack a bunch of crap into my locs, for fear that I couldn’t wash it all out and it would “embed” into my locs. I thoroughly wash (or at least thoroughly rinse) my hair before each rod set. I guess we’ll see in the future.
As far as loose naturals, I didn’t ever find success doing my own rod sets. I’ve seen them done successfully, but I could never do my own. I found far more success doing twist outs and pin curls! When I did my own rodsets, they were always super frizzy! That annoyed me to no end. Feel free to share any tips, if you’ve got some!
So how do curls help your hair grow? Well, they don’t. But you not manipulating your hair will keep it from breaking, thus promoting length. While I was relaxed, I lived in curls. I am positive that setting my hair helped tremendously. The technique really isn’t any different. I started out using the same rods that were in constant rotation during my relaxed days. Remember, the smaller the rod, the smaller the curl. Since then, I’ve purchased two more sizes of rods, just to try something new. I’ll be showing them in a later post.
As you can see, I’ve got two pictures of me. I used the white and gray rods in both pictures, which are pretty freakin’ small. Each image shows a fresh set. How cool is it that the results look very, very different? Within the next few days, I will be doing a Youtube video tutorial on how I create a rod set, and how I achieve different updo’s and styles.
In the mean time, feel free to share what products you use for your rod/rollersets! I’d like to keep experimenting to make sure I’ve thoroughly researched most options! Oh, the versatility!
I spoke to a friend of mine a few weeks ago, and she asked about this “new” curl pattern phenomenon. I explained that patterns are the types of curls, coils, waves and lack there of that we get in our hair. The chart ranges from bone straight hair to coily, kinky hair. And she said something very interesting to me. She’s been natural for well over 25 years, uses only natural products on her hair, embraces every coil, curl and buckshot, and said “why does that even matter?” That made me think…does it really matter?
While perusing a few hair videos on Youtube, I noticed how many of the hosts identified their curl pattern. The terms “3c” and “4a” seemed to be as relevant as the only adjectives we had to rely on like back in the day, like “course”, “fine”, and “silky”. Why do (some of us) feel dependent of identifying our hair type? Does this mean that different types of curls need a completely different set of products or techniques? If you have wavy hair, can you not use products that someone with no curl pattern has?
Let’s flip it a different way. I’ve noticed that many of us, even while relaxed, swear by our curl pattern. The purpose of a relaxer is to straighten the new growth (and curls, coils, etc.), but people still alter regimens based on what others of their “curl pattern” recommend. A texturizer will loosen the curl pattern, giving you some benefits of being both relaxed and natural.
When I had a relaxer, my new growth had no curl pattern. (I later realized that the new growth was affected by the relaxer well before it surfaced my scalp.) I assumed that I would be a “4b” (having no pattern at all), and I was completely content with that. After MANY months as a loose natural, my curl pattern finally showed itself. I was a proud “4a”! I had coils that I never knew about! It was fun to throw product in my hair and twirl around a few strands to get a baby ringlet. It took effort (and lots of time) to make each curl stand alone and not stick to its sister. When I would wash and go, they were still a mush of coils that had to be individually separated for maximum definition. So, in the end, I didn’t even deal with my curl pattern. I stuck to twist outs to get a similar effect, or combed the out for a luscious, thick afro.
My question to you, Scandalous Beauties of mine, “Do you know your curl pattern, do you care, and has it made you change the way you take care of your hair?” If you’d like to understand more about curl patterns, check out this article at NaturallyCurly.