I am one of those naturalistas who just loves washing her hair. Yea, I know about the great benefits of co-washing. (Co-washing is "washing" your hair with a conditioner instead of a shampoo, see my youtube channel for a demo). I have also read that it is good to co-wash as often as every two days. Co-washing helps prevent natural hair from becoming too dry from frequent washing with shampoo. Knowing all of this, I always choose to wash my hair anyway. I just like starting my styling days off with fresh, clean, non-weighed down hair. My experiences with co-washing my hair have ranged from ok to just plain horrible. The "plain horrible" experience left my hair feeling like it had a residue on it. This made it difficult to style.
Now that I have colored my hair, it's more important than ever that I properly condition my hair so that it will not be damaged. With that being said, coloring my hair has made me revisit the idea of co-washing my hair more often. I don't want my hair to break or my color to fade too fast. I set out to co-wash my hair yesterday and I was having a hard time choosing a conditioner. I absolutely love the As I Am Coconut Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner but I also love the Giovanni 50:50 Balanced Hydrating-Calming Conditioner. I could not decide which one to use, so I decided to use both of them. My results were amazing! My hair is really soft and shiny. It was also easier to detangle. The moral of the story is that if you have two conditioners that both offer benefits that you desire, don't be afraid to try them both. You may be surprised at the results. I will say that a good rule of thumb for selecting your co-wash conditioners is to be sure that they don't contain any sulfates or parabens. Also, stay away from silicones. These ingredients can make your hair heavy and also leave a residue. Nobody likes weighed down curls. I followed my cowash with a brief deep conditioning using Eden BodyWorks All Natural Deep Conditioner. When I got ready to style my hair there was no residue. See my next tutorial to see the results of my first flat twist out!
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!!
Forever on a quest for the perfect moisturizing regimen for my low porosity hair, I decided to try the LOC method. LOC is an acronym for liquid, oil and cream. You start your hair off with water or a liquid based leave-in conditioner, followed by an oil and finally a cream. The concept is that the oil will seal in the water (or water based leave-in conditioner) and the cream will seal in the oil into your strands. After repeated usage of this method, you should be left with well moisturized strands. Many naturalistas swear by this method and depending on your hair type you may experience the same success. Below is a list of what products I used for the LOC method.
L-Giovanni Direct Leave-In Conditioner
O- Desert Essence Jojoba oil
C-Eden Bodyworks Jojoba Monoi Hair Milk
I started by treating my hair that had been rinsed with warm water with a baking soda/water mix to open my cuticles. I dried my hair using the plopping method. I followed this with deep conditioning with Shea Butter Intense Moisture Masque. I wrapped a towel around my hair and allowed this to sit on my hair for 30 minutes. After rinsing my hair with cool water to seal my cuticles, I sprayed it with an aloe vera juice/water mix to balance my hair's pH from the alkaline baking soda mixture. After detangling, I was ready to begin the LOC method.
I sectioned my hair into 4 and worked a quarter sized amount of Giovanni Direct Leave-In into one section from root to tip. I rubbed a few drops of jojoba oil into my palm and rubbed it together. I also applied it to the section from root to tip. Finally, I rubbed a quarter size amount of the Eden Bodyworks hair milk into my hand and worked it through the section from root to tip. Repeat this until you have moisturized all sections.
Verdict so far: My hair was noticeably shinier and softer. I will most definitely be trying this method again to see what the long term results are. I will keep you posted!
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!
One of my worst experiences with being natural has been adding moisturizers and oils to my hair, only for it to look dry by the end of the day. Nobody likes a dry fro, twist out, wash and go, etc. I wondered why my hair did not seem to be retaining moisture no matter how much I added to it. After some research, I stumbled upon the term porosity.
Porosity is your hair's ability to absorb and hold on to moisture. Your hair can be high, low or normal porosity. How do you figure out your hair's porosity? It's simple:
1. Grab a glass and fill it with room temperature water
2. Find some of your shed hairs on a comb or brush, not a broken one (a shed hair will have a white bulb on the end)
3. Clean the hairs with a little shampoo
4. Drop the hairs into the water
Low Porosity-hairs will stay and float on the top
High Porosity-hairs will sink to the bottom
Normal Porosity-hairs will slowly and gradually sink to the bottom.
Washing and detangling natural hair can be a headache!!! If you suffer from shrinkage like me, your curls probably clump together when they get wet. Combing through your hair without proper sectioning is just not an option anymore. Shrinkage and curl clumping make it really hard to properly detangle your hair. Well, I recently viewed a post by MeechyMonroe (twitter, ig, fb, YouTube) where she washed and detangled her hair with ease. My washing and detangling method is inspired by that but I did not braid the detangled sections, I twisted them. Much easier! This method takes a little time, but I assure you, your hair will be well conditioned, softer, more manageable and ready for whatever styles you have in mind for the week. I hope this video makes your next wash day less of a headache! How do you wash and detangle your natural hair?
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