It is no secret that my favorite natural hair style to date is the twist out because of its versatility and longevity. I am always trying to find new ways to style a twist out, whether its fresh or a few days old. My favorite characteristic of a twist out is its ability to elongate my hair. The twist out that I am about to share with you gave me the most stretching I have experienced to date!! My hair looked closer to its true length and it was super defined. Before doing this twist out, I used the LOC (liquid, oil, cream) Method to ensure that my hair retained the oils and moisture that I put in it. Check out the video below to see how I achieved this look.
They are literally everywhere you turn. Seemingly perfect curls and twists. That oh-so-desirable length. Moisture for days. Not a hair out of place. You think to yourself, "Man, I want her hair! I want my hair to do exactly what her hair does." You hastily approach this woman and almost scream out, "What did you use in your hair? How did you get it to do that?". You hang on to her every word, you make notes on the products she used, as well as her technique. You hurry to the nearest beauty supply store, go home and turn your bathroom into a personal hair salon. When you finish doing exactly what you thought she said, you look like a chia pet! LOL!!! Wanna know why? Those perfect curls and twists were HER natural.
Having natural hair is a delicate balance between you wondering why you didn't go natural a decade ago to you toying with the idea of going back to a relaxer (GASPS!!!!! lol). Be strong. We all go through it. Everybody's natural hair is not the same. There are so many different textures, curl patterns ( or lack thereof) and lengths and they all are beautiful in a unique way. Being natural is much like some of the age old lessons we were taught as children: You just have to BE YOURSELF. Below are a few tips that may help you discover your natural.
1. Research, research, research. Find out what your curl pattern is.
2. Determine your hair's porosity (check out my blog post on hair porosity. here). This will help you to figure out which moisturizing technique will work best for your hair. Nobody likes a dry fro.
3. Know that what hair product works for one natural, may not work for you, which leads me into tip number 4....
4. Products do NOT create curls that you don't already have. Example: Erica uses product x and her head is covered in curly awesomeness. If I use product x, then I too will have a head covered in curly awesomeness lol. Catch my drift? Since you have done your research and you know your curl pattern, then you know that whatever product you choose to use will only define and enhance your natural curl pattern. This is the whole point of being natural right? =)
5. Don't be afraid to try new styles and products, but never forget the basic products that first made you love your hair. I can't tell you how many times, I've become so consumed with trying new things that I forget that Kinky Curly leave-in is a great fit for my hair or that my homemade shea butter whip gave me one of the best twist outs I've ever experienced.
6. Love YOUR natural. You went natural for a variety of reasons. Try not to become discouraged if your hair doesn't look like your favorite naturalista's. Being natural is a unique experience for each woman. Own it!
Check out my pictures of some of my natural hair victories and fails over the past year. lol
After doing a two conditioner co-wash (see blog post for details). I deep conditioned my hair with Eden Bodyworks All Natural Deep Conditioner. I followed this with the LOC method using Jane Carter Solution Revitalizing Leave-in Conditioner, lavender oil/water (for detangling), jojoba oil and Camille Rose Curlade Moisturizing Butter. Once my hair was detangled, I followed the steps below to complete a flat twist out.
1. Divide your freshly co-washed or shampooed and conditioned hair into four sections using clips. Make sure the front section is parted the way you like wearing your hair.
2. Starting from the bottom section take either 1/4 or 1/3 of the section (depending on your hair thickness) and finger detangle, shower comb detangle and denman brush detangle the section. (Feel free to add oil and water to aid in the detangling process. Remember to detangle from the ends to the root. Be careful!)
3. Work a generous amount of your favorite curl cream (Curlcare Soft Hold Cream) through the section.
4. Begin your flat twist with a small two-strand twist and continue to add hair to your flat twist all the way to the end of the section.
5. Either roll the end of the twist around your finger or roll the end of the twist with a flexi rod.
6. Repeat this process until you are done. Allow your hair to air dry overnight or use a hooded dryer.
7. Take the twists down VERY slowly using your oil of choice on your fingers. I used jojoba oil. It is important to take the twists down slowly to avoid frizziness. Think of taking your twists down as gradually and gently unraveling them.
The flat twist out takes about half the time that it takes me to do a normal twist out! This excites me so much because it normally takes me at least an hour to do a regular twist out. My hair turned out to be a great deal more defined than a regular twist out and the curl pattern was a lot different. If you love twist outs as much as I do, you will love the flat twist out even more!! Its a nice change in my usual curl pattern and my hair was more stretched than normal. The only catch to using this method is that the drying time is considerably longer. Air drying took me about 10-12 hours or overnight. I would do this style the day before I was ready to wear it. You could also consider using a hooded dryer. Good luck!
***When I took my flat twists down, I decided to do a simple updo. I will post a tutorial for this later***
Ever spend your precious time twisting or braiding your natural hair, only to untwist it and it looks like an undefined mass? It happens =(. One of the perks of having natural hair is its ability to be shaped with something as simple as a bobby pin. Spring and summertime weddings are the perfect time to put this to use!! I created this wedding style on a 2 day old twist out I did using Nothing But (brand) Pure Pudding cream. This cream was very light and therefore my twist out was not as defined as usual. This style is perfect for a twist out that did not turn out as defined as you would have liked. Follow the steps below to recreate this easy half-frohawk.
1. Using CurlCare strong hold gel, brush and smooth back the hair on front right side of your head and secure it with small bobby pins.
2. Once the hair is secure, arrange your twisted or curled hair to fall foward to cover or hide the pins. Arrange the rest of the hair from this section to your liking. (I did more separating of the twists and light teasing to make hair bigger)
3. Leave the other side of your twist unsecured and arrange curls to your liking.
5-10 minutes and you're done! How do you save your twist-outs or braid outs that you don't like? Please Share!
Let's face it, washing natural hair requires a bit of time and patience. I usually wash (or co-wash) and style my hair once a week, but every now and then I reach that 1 week mark and I just don't have time to wash my hair. My work schedule is strenuous and sometimes I am just dog tired.
Hair that has been styled for a few days to a week often provides a great foundation for other hairstyles. When I'm too tired to wash my hair, I always ask myself, how can I make my hair look decent without washing and starting from scratch? I have really thick hair and the longer I go without washing it, the more tangled and matted it can become. When my hair reaches this point, I always immediately wash and condition.
This particular day, I felt daring or maybe just lazy lol. Natural hair brainstorming almost always leads to an awesome style! Here are the steps I took to turn an old tangled twist out into beautifully defined and moisturized chunky twists.
1. Section hair and divide it using clips.
2. Smooth a moisturizer ( I used Camille Rose Naturals, Curlade Moisture Butter) into each section and finger detangle each section.
3. Starting from the back of your head, 2 strand twist large sections of your hair ( of course, being careful not to borrow from other sections of hair) When you get to the front of your head, part your hair the way you would like the twists to fall.
4. I slept about 5-6 hours with a silk bonnet and then undid my twists.
5. Separate the twists at least 2x for fullness.
After you're done, your hair will be detangled and more manageable. It will also look great!! This only took about 20 minutes and I was able to last a few more days without washing my hair.
There's nothing worse than being short on time right before you have somewhere to be. Natural hairstyles require time. You're not going to get a twist out done in under an hour. (If you can, please show me how! lol). With that being said, it is always good to have some quick, but cute styles under your belt for those times when you still want to look want to make your hair look nice, but as quickly as possible. Check out the video tutorial for this quick freaux-hawk done on a wash and go. After co-washing my hair, this style took under 15 minutes to do!!
Everybody knows my absolute favorite natural hair style is a twist out because of its great curl definition and versatility. As much as I love twist outs, I decided to try something new and was pleasantly surprised! Bantu knots gave me exceptional curl definition as well as a totally different look that I love. The curls were tighter and just as easy, if not easier, to maintain overnight (don't tell my twist outs I said that lol). To maintain this style, I bantu knotted my hair in large sections using a little water in a spray bottle overnight and was able to wear my bantu knot out for five days! This is definitely a hair style that I will add to my arsenal. Very cute!
October 2012, marks my 1 year anniversary of being natural. My hair is actually longer than it was before I first cut it! At this point my curl pattern is defined and I knew what products I love...and hate. However, during my journey, I only got my hair trimmed once. My hair was in dire need of a trim. My twistouts were nice, but not as nice as before. They also were not lasting as long as usual. My ends were what I would call stringy. They were also prone to shedding. Although, I was loving my curls, I couldnt help but to wonder what my hair would look like straightened. Exactly how much had my hair grown?
A flat ironing seemed to be a good solution for all these problems. I could do a true length check as well as get a trim. Then came the worrying. What if once my hair was flat ironed, it decided that it didnt want to revert back to the curls that I had grown to love? I have heard horror stories from other naturalistas about how their curl pattern was never the same after flat ironing. Some naturalistas went as far as to do the big chop all over again because of heat damage!! I was not about that type of headache at all. I had come too far. So, I did my research. I consulted with other naturalistas and many of them had great experiences with flat ironing. Obviously, your results will depend a lot upon your hair texture as well as thickness. Knowing all of this, here are some flat ironing tips that I've gathered for naturalistas.
1. Be sure that the flat iron is not too hot. Scorched or burned hair rarely, if ever, will revert back to its original curl pattern. Healthy hair burns at a temperature of 233C (451.4F). Hair that has been subjected to many different treatments can burn at even lower temperatures. (Source: The Science of Black Hair by: Audrey Davis-Sivasothy )
2. Wash and deep condition your hair prior to flat ironing.
3. If you choose to blow out your hair, use some type of protectant and don't use the highest heat setting.
4. When you flat iron your hair, use yet another protectant. Make sure your hair is properly moisturized also. Flat iron your hair in small sections from roots to end.
Lastly, if this is too much for you, GO TO A TRUSTED PROFESSIONAL. That's what I did and I loved the results before AND after.
If you're in the Baton Rouge, LA area, check out Happy Hair Baton Rouge.
My stylist's name is Jackie. However, everybody that I saw leaving the salon who had been serviced by other stylists looked great! What have you experienced with flat ironing your natural hair?
1. Wash and condition hair as normal.
2. Section hair into 4 sections and secure with clips. (This is also the time to part your hair, how you desire. I didn't part my hair, I just twisted in the direction that I wanted my hair to fall.)
3. Work about 2 finger tips amount of virgin coconut oil into the section you are about to twist from root to tip.
4. Depending on how large you want your twists to be, take a section of hair from the main section and spray it with water.
5. Then work the Eco Styler gel though the smaller section and then two strand twist that section to the very end. Don't borrow hair from other sections! ( I know it's tempting, but not doing this really ensures that your twist out is very defined).
6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until you have two strand twisted all of your hair.
7. Let hair air dry overnight (with silk bonnet) or sit under a hooded dryer.
8. Untwist hair with lemon grass oil. I only untwisted each twist once, for a fuller look you can separate the twists further into 3-4 pieces for each part of the 2 strand twist.
Southern Style Naturalista
Want to define the curls in your fro? Try shingling, which is essentially working the product through your hair from root to tip. You can use a comb or your fingers, either way your curl pattern will pop!!! In the video below, I used a curl pudding, but don't be afraid to try other holding creams or moisturizers for your shingling techniques and let me know how they come out!
**These initial videos are sometimes not as audible as I would like. These are my first attempts at video editing, they will get better I promise! lol*