First impression: This gel smells delish and has a tropical coconut scent. It is white/clear with light gelly like feel. Not sticky or greasy feel is similar to that of aloe vera gel.
When trying a new hair gel I prefer to use it as a wash-n-go styler. For me this is the real test for any styler. I want it to define curls, provide light hold w/o crunch, keep frizz at bay and give at least 2nd day hair.
I applied the Coconut Hair Pudding on wet hair freshly cleansed and conditioned hair without a leave-in underneath. The gel went on smoothly and my curls looked fine however, CHP has no hold to it. While that was fine for my hair in the back which is looser and easily defined it was no match for the crazy frizzy section at my crown. As a WnG styler I would recommend this for those with loose curls who just need a bit of moisture and perfer light stylers with little hold. For me I decided to use it to 2 strand twist my hair and coupled it with Komaza Care Moku Hair Butter on top to seal in moisture. I set my twists on rollers to produce a twist-n-curl result seen below–please disregard the random twists sticking out I had been traveling and slept on the airplane.
After a few days I took the twists down and wore a twist-out. I can say that the CHP and MHB kept my hair soft and moisturized for several days. I only had to wet and reapply to the front of my hair which is looser. In the future I might couple it with a little KMF UMG in the front for more hold. I really liked this twist-out and received tons of compliments on my hair it lasted another 2-3 days (without re-twisting at night) and the curls stayed in place.
Final thoughts: this was a nice twisting gel but did not perform well as wash-n-go styler. I would not repurchase this gel just for twisting. I do however like the Komaza Care Califia Styling Pudding which has a bit more hold and is able to handle my frizzy crown with more control. I do think this would be great for those sporting TWA who need a little definition without the crunch of most other gels or those with looser curls who do not require additional hold for definition.
In case you haven’t heard Aevin Dugas has a HUGE fro. Okay maybe that is an understatement. She is the Guinness World Records holder of the largest afro which measures 4 feet – 4 inches in circumference which is the size of a disco ball.
And while her 12 year natural hair journey has yielded impressive feats I am most impressed by her regimen. In an interview with Curly Nikki she shared:
My regimen is pretty simple. I shampoo with Suave Clarifying, then follow with Suave Almond and Shea and Garnier Fruictis Triple Nutrition. Then I condition with Aussie Moist, Garnier Fructis Triple nutrition, Pantene Nature Fusion Moisture Balance, Pantene Beautiful Lengths or Dove Intense Moisture. During the week I work out, so I leave the conditioner in and put my hair up into a donut or a french braid. Then by Thursday, if I have plans for the weekend, I’ll rinse the conditioner, shampoo again with the Triple Nutrition then style. Believe it or not, I use a lot of over the counter products. One of my favorites is Aussie 3 Minute Miracle!
Yep, you read that right she uses regular drug store commercial products. No biotin supplements or other horse pills, specialty hair tonics or expensive treatments. Healthy scalps with grow hair, most people do not have a problem growing hair as long as you are nourished, hydrated and have no medical conditions your hair will grow. Now there are genetics which can encourage some to have more accelerated growth than others, but there is nothing you can do about that. What most people struggle with is not hair growth, but rather retention of said growth. Breakage, split ends, knots and tangles can all interfere with hair retention. No matter how much hair you have you must focus on keeping it moisturized, minimizing breakage from styling tools and accessories, and safely detangling.
And while she loves her afro for looking fly on special occasions she doesn’t wear it picked out all the time. Her go to styles are buns, two strand twists or french braids. For more on Aevin’s awesome hair including funny stories including getting it stuck in a car door check out her BBC interview. You can find her favorite products like Suave Almond & Shea Shampoo, Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition and Aussie Moist 3 Minute Miracle Deep Conditioner at your local drug store or grocery store.
3 Strand Twists are exactly what they sound like; twisting the hair using 3 strands instead of the typical two. Actually you can do any number of twists 4, 5, 6, etc. it is just important that you remember to wrap the strands around as oppose to braiding. When twisting imagine you are wrapping each strand around like an imaginary may pole. Here is a great tutorial describing how to 3 strand twist the hair >>>
So why do a 3 Strand twist? Good question. The more strands you use the thicker and more compact the resulting twist looks. Those with fine or stringy hair may appreciate a bigger twist. Also if you are doing a twist-out your curls will be bigger and more defined.
Here is an up-close shot of my 3-strand twists. These were done on wet hair using Koils By Nature Herbal Gel. There area aprox 40 twists and this style took about 90 minutes to complete.
I wore these twists for a couple days then decided to take them down for a twist-out. To unravel I the twists I rubbed them with Koils By Nature Sweet Almond Joy Hair Butter first to smooth them then gently untwisted them.
As you can see the 3ST result in great definition and corkscrew-like curls. This is an ideal hair style for someone with limp or fine hair, those who want more defined curls or someone who wants big hair. To increase the volume after you have separated the twists you can further separate each strand. I normally do this on day 1 or 2 of a twist-out.
Here is the final result of my work. I hope that this helps raise your interest in trying different styles. If so please send in your pix and share them with us.
A great way to get maximum styling benefit is to layer products. Layering is a method in which you progressively add products to your hair in order to moisturize, seal, define and finish your hair. While there is no “right” answer as to how to style your hair other than what works for you this a good place to start.
Start with clean slate. Wash or co-wash your hair and begin right out of the shower. You can also stretch your hair by braiding/banding/twisting and allow your hair to dry before starting then spritz lightly with water.
Moisturize. Use a water-based moisturizer or leave-in conditioner (water is the first ingredient) or plant extract like aloe vera gel/juice which is composed mostly of water. It may be found in the form of a spritz or a lotion. Here are a few examples: Aloe Vera Juice (pour in a spray bottle), Oyin Hair Dew, Komaza Care Califia Moisturizing Spray, Pura Body Naturals Sapote Hair Lotion, Shea Moisture Hair Milk and Alaffia Shea & Coconut Hair Lotion, Curls Whipped Cream.
Seal. Sealing is an important step as it helps you retain the moisture you just added to your hair. Sealants are oil or butter based products that often contain coconut oil, shea butter, olive oil, or mineral oil (though I do not advocate the use of mineral oil). Here are a few examples: Coconut oil, shea butter, Koils by Nature Hair & Body Butter, Komaza Care Moku Hair Butter, Yogachi Signature Buster Hair Butter, Pura Body Natural Cupuacu Hair Butter.
Define. Next is to define those curls and get them poppin! There are both creams and gels that can accomplish this for you. Here are a few examples: Kinky Curly Curling Custard, Koils by Nature Herbal Gel, Jane Carter Curl Defining Cream, AfroVeda Pur Whipped Gelly, Kiss My Face Upper Management Gel, Eco Styler Gel, Darcy’s Botanicals Curling Jelly.
Finish. This is the final step in any style that is often overlooked. By using a finisher you help set your curls, add a touch of shine and give an overall polished look. While this step is not mandatory it will give you that salon look at home. Here are a few examples: Oyin Handmade Burnt Sugar Pomade, Kinky Curly Gloss Pomade, Shea Moisture Hold & Shine Hair Mist, Curl Junkie Curls In A Bottle, Jane Carter Solution Nourish and Shine.
It is important to note that some products may serve multiple purposes for example when I use Jane Carter Solution Curl Defining Cream I apply it to wet hair as a moisturizer, sealant and definer as it contains ingredients that sufficiently do all three steps in one. You may also choose to skip any of these steps as you see what works for your hair. In this twist-out style below I used only water, aloe vera gel and butter/oil blend and got great results without a definer or a finisher.
Those are my layering tips, have you had any success with layering products? What steps do you use?
Let’s face it not all of us are great hairstylists. I was blessed to have a mother who was a brilliant and creative stylists who adorned me with braids, twists, cornrows and the like. She shared her talents with me and I became responsible for the care of my younger sister and cousin’s hair, hence why it was easy for me to go natural. But my mother was self taught out of necessity as my Granny knew nothing of hair styling. I have learned that many newly naturals are in the same boat having no clue what to do when it comes to hair.
The easiest method of styling is twists because at the most basic only requires two strands and the method of wrapping is simple. But while learning to twist, many naturals often look in the mirror and are dismayed by the “Celie” syndrome. aaaaahhhhhh!
Celie is a character from the movie, The Color Purple.
Well I am here to share the good news: Even ugly twists make a cute twist-out! Yep, you heard read that correctly. Some of my cutest twist-out styles have come from despicable looking twists.
So be encouraged and continue to practice, because practice truly makes perfect especially when it comes to natural hair styling.
An ongoing problem that I have being a teenager is finding cute hairstyles for my natural hair. Since my mom stopped combing my hair in the 6th grade I’ve had my share of ponytails and flat irons, but after a bad heat job did some major damage to my hair I decided to give it a rest and learn to love my curls. It’s always been a daily routine of mine to throw my hair in a ponytail after washing it and doing a “finger twirl” to keep my curls from frizzing. Then it dawned on me, if this helps keep my ponytail managed I wonder what it could do to my entire head. Soon enough I was in the bathroom doing a little hair experiment.
Garnier Fructis Leave-in Conditioning Cream
Lusti Organics Olive Oil Styling Gel
First I started by applying the Garnier Fructis Leave-in Conditioning Cream to my damp hair and combing it through using a Denman Brush. Next, I parted my hair into 11 sections (3×3 inches) and placing them in clips. I took down a section of hair and applied the Lusti Organics Olive Oil Styling Gel to my hair and used my finger in a twirling fashion to create a finger twirl. Once the twirl was made I placed a bobby pin at my roots to keep them from poofing up. I did this for the rest of the sections and then applied more gel around my edges and tied them down with a scarf.
I went under the dryer for about an hour (my hair was only about 85% dry but I had to get out from under that thing!) I applied Safflower Oil to my fingers and carefully pulled apart the finger twirls. I absolutely LOVE this hairdo. Not only is my hair bouncy and full, the curls are nicely defined and have a great shine to them. My only complaint is with the Lusti Organics Olive Oil Styling gel. It left my hair feeling crunchy and stiff, but once I used the oil and whipped my hair a bit it started to loosen up. When I do this again I will try some different gels that won’t leave my hair as crunchy.
In my teens I loved MAC Cosmetics VIVA Glam ads featuring the fabulous Ru Paul. It reminded me of all things glitz and glamor. Over the years while I have liked and admired their make-up I never purchased anything from MAC Cosmetics because it was just too dang expensive and I am just too practical.
That all changed when blogger Afrobella was selected to take part of MAC Cosmetic’s blogger obsession line. Beauty bloggers where allowed to submit a name and a color for a cosmetic and a selected few would be allowed to actually create their idea. Afrobella created a tinted lipglass called All My Purple Life named after Prince song Erotic City. I love Prince but purple lipgloss did not seem like it would look good on my but I wanted to support my fellow blogger so I did.
Boy am I ever glad that I did! I LOVE THIS COLOR! It is my fav cosmetic in my arsenal. If I can only put on one thing before rushing out of the house it is definitely this product. It brought me back to my teenage days and the feeling of glitz and glamor. There are so many different ways to wear this color and change the look by outlining with a lip pencil, wearing it over another lip color, or changing the amount you apply. My only regret was that I did not purchase two as the color had a limited time run. Well thanks to popular demand MAC Cosmetics has re-released the color and it is now available to purchase again for $14.50 + tax! Use coupon code “txt” to receive free standard shipping.
Bantu Knots were a style I wore often when I was relaxed as it gave a cute textured curly look without the need of rollers or rods. Since I’ve been natural I can count on one-hand the times that I have worn this style. The main reason is that I usually style my hair wet, but I hate sitting under the dryer. My hair takes forever to air dry so my bantu knots are often still damp on the second day. I also find it much too difficult to sleep with knots in my hair. All that said I made a resolution to step my style game up back in January so I am working on tackling this style.
A while ago I wrote about how my friend Brokey did her bantu knot-out style. While I did not follow her steps I took her advice to do them on dry hair eliminating the problem of having wet hair for several days. Here is a breakdown of my process:
Start with cleansed, conditioned and detangled hair. Allow hair to air dry until it is about 90% dry.
Twist each section in a clock-wise motion then wrap around the base to form a knot. Secure with a bobby pin if necessary.
Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you have completed the entire head.
I used a mix of both large and small plaits to get a more textured knot-out look. I did not use any hold product, just conditioner. I parted my so that I was able to sleep as comfortably as I could. I parted with a space in the back of my head so I could rest my head down flat without a knot being their and made sure the knots around my headline were pushed further back so I could lay on my sides.
I wore my knots to work the next day and received a lot of double takes along with the standard questions: “how did you do that?” and “did you cut your hair?” My favorite response came from a co-worker who obviously had not caught word of my ‘do and said when he walked in my office, “O-M-F-G that sh*t is awesome!” and proceeded to give me a fist bump, lol. I did have an issue with one particular knots refusal to stay so I picked up some Conair Polybands (small non-rubber ponytail holders) to keep it in place.
The next morning I decided to take down the knots and rock the knot-out for the day. I used Koils by Nature Hair and Body Butter to smooth and separate each section. My hair was SO FLUFFY! And baby, when I tell you it was soft, please know that I had my hands in it all day! I will definitely be incorporating a dry set using these products to my twist and braid-out routine.