Twisted Updo + Rod Set Curls

Last Saturday I had the esteemed pleasure of hosting Return of the Curls: Curls Gone Wild Kentucky Hair Expo.  As the host I would be on my feet smiling, interacting and answering questions for 8 hours.  This of course meant a trip to the salon for a style that was both flashy and functional.  When I have work to do I like to have my hair put up and out of the way, a style that stands up to travel/activity and won’t turn me into a shrieking violet as my hair likes to shrink when I get hot + sweaty. I also want to try something a little different.

natural hair updo roller set rod set derby city naturals

I made an appointment with Te’Anna of Natural Alternatives Salon for a natural style up-do. My stylists are in fact geniuses because they have come to understand “Haley-speak”. Haley speak is my feelings or emotions set to words and hand gestures to describe how I want my hair. I told her “Te, I want an updo. Flat twists up the crown, angled to one side. Curls in the front swirly like the bottom of a waterfall that show off my blue bangs.  But don’t make me look like an eggplant.”  Mmmhmm you understand that? Luckily she did.

natural hair twisted updo rod set curls derby city naturals

Get This Style In 4 Easy Steps

  1. After washing, conditioning and detangling my hair, Te applied a heat protectant and lightly blew my hair out.  I have my hair blown out when doing these styles to decrease my time under the dryer which is my most hated thing. The goal is get the hair 70% dry and lightly stretched.
  2. Flat twist the back and left side of the hair upward from the nape of the neck to the crown.  Stop twisting once you reach the crown and secure with a roller clip to prevent unraveling.  We used Lace Naturals More Moisture cream to twist and moisturize the hair.  Set the crown on medium sized perm rods using setting lotion or foam.
  3. After sitting under the dryer remove rods and clips from hair (make sure your hair is 100% dry before removing rollers) secure in place using bobby or hairpins.  I sat under the dryer for about 55 minutes.  We left my curls intact because this style was done a day before the event.
  4. Lightly oil your fingertips and gently uncoil each curl into 3 or 4 sections depending on size.

It was important to me that my curls stayed off my face for the most part and out of my eyes. For a more elongated curl you can use bigger perm rods or flexi rods.  If you are a terrible roller like myself you can two-strand twist the hair before setting on rollers which will provide a similar effect.  This style is great for all hair lengths.  If you hair is not long enough to set on rollers you can finger coil or comb coil for a similar look.

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Hair Update: Simple Style + Edges Laid

Hey friends I am here with a quick update on my hair. I haven’t talked much lately about my personal hair journey so here is a glimpse of what I have been up to.

My hair is still blue, as a matter of fact I just got a color touch-up . My hair color is semi-permanent which means it fades and needs to be re-deposited for me that happens every 5-7 weeks.  We are currently using Pravana line it is my fav so far. You can catch my hair pix and other musings on Instagram: @HereIsMySpoutNatural Hair Blue Haley Rhine

I went to the Natural Alternatives Salon for my color touch-up with my stylist Dakota but when it came to styling I was at a loss.  I am a self-admitted control freak when it comes to my hair, when I sit in a chair I know exactly what style I want and which products I want used, except this time I didn’t.  So we started with a blow-out because I wanted to check my length.  Dakota was loosely playing around with updos and shapes and I thought about a goddess braid look using only my natural hair (see Anu Prestonia create goddess braids). I love that I can point my stylist in a direction and he can understand my vision and deliver every time. natural hair goddess braid and bun

Here is the resulting style. Four french braids back into a loose two-strand twists pinned into a bun. I love it. This style took him less than 10 minutes to complete.

natural hair slick edges

Oh, but my edges tho. Can y’all see this glory?  Now I am not normally a slick down your edges kind of girl, but for this style it is important that they are snatched!  Dakota used DevaCurl Set Up & Above styler and the back of a rat tail comb to smooth and swoop these edges into shape. DevaCurl Set Up and Above

This product works like a gel-pomade hybrid and dries clear without a crunch or any residue.  Notice he did not use a toothbrush or brown gel. Stop it. Toothbrushes are for teeth, not for baby hair. You can pick up DevaCurl products locally at Sephora in Oxmoor Mall or at Ulta Beauty Store in the Summit.

Big Hair Don’t Care

So while in Atlanta I had the wonderful idea to blow my hair out because I wanted to rock some BIG HAIR for a day.  Luckily for me my awesome curlfriends were here for me.  Landa of CurlyAndLovely provided the products and the tools.  Jalisa of No Fro Smushing Allowed lent a hand and actually did my blow-out.  We started this project well after midnight because last minute hairstyles are just how I roll. naked natural hair before blow out

First up I washed my hair with Eden BodyWorks Jojoba Monoi shampoo and detangled my hair with deep conditioner from the same line.  I really like these products they worked fantastic, check out my review here.

I plaited my hair into 6-8 sections while detangling.  I allowed my hair to partially air dry in each plait while laughing and listening to music.  Next, we took down each plait one at a time.  I applied 1-2 pumps of Clio Therma-Shield Hair Serum which protects up to 480 degrees. Yes, sir I am not trying to fry my hair. Then Ja lovingly blowdried on low heat at medium speed. blow out after

Then I braided my hair back up into 12- 15 braids using a fingertip full of Donna Marie Super  Buttercreme on each section. My hair was so darn soft I just kept petting myself.  I threw a silk scarf on my head then went to sleep finally.

In the morning, I took down each braid and fluffed and shook and fluffed and shook and my hair began to grow.  I used a pick to help it along to make sure my hair got the volume
I desired.  The results were big, fluffy, soft hair that definitely turned heads. natural hair blow out 1

My hair continued to get bigger throughout the day which was alright with me.  I have learned to love my big hair even though I have a big head.  At the end of the day I twisted my hair up into two-strand twists for the plane ride home, I did not want to cause a security alert at the airport.  I will definitely rock my big hair again soon.

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Scissor Happy: Would You BC Your Hair Again?

Me & Brittany

My girl Brittany has such gorgeous hair. She was just born that way. Brittany can use pretty much any product on her hair and get amazing results.  She is also no stranger to color and will grab a box of color from the local store and change from red to blonde to brown without batting an eyelash. She doesn’t worry too much about the rules of being natural like avoiding certain ingredients, or heat styling or performing maintenance on a schedule.  She is sort of the unorthodox natural.

So it was no surprise to me when Brittany went from thisBrittany

To this!  She sent me a text saying, “You will never guess what I did” followed by a picture of her shorn locks. In true Brittany fashion she did it herself with a pair of shears in her bathroom.  I asked her what made her decide to cut and she simply stated that she was ready for a change. I absolutely love Brittany she is beautiful curly or straight, honey or chestnut, long or short.brittany big chop

Have you considered doing a second big chop on your hair? I have thought about it many, many times and I am constantly breaking out my faithful shears to make adjustments as I see fit.  My Cuzzo Ro chopped her hair last year because she wanted a change and I was so jealous of her fiece cut.  I am approaching my 5 year anniversary Spring 2013, who knows maybe I will follow Brittany’s lead.

Elongated Twists On Dry Hair


Two-Strand Twists have to be one of the most popular natural hair styles.  A popular complaint that comes from many naturals (me included) is shrinkage.  One way to combat shrinkage is to twist on dry stretched hair which will result in an elongated twisted style.

There are many ways to stretch your hair.  You can use the banding method, pic it out, plaits, blowdry, etc. For this look I actually started with a picked out big afro which I wore for Fros on the 4th.  

Next I carefully selected a moisturizer to twist my hair.  I needed something that would lightly moisturize and soften the hair without providing too much moisture that would make the hair shrink back up.  The two moisturizers that worked for me were Donna Marie Super Buttercreme $13 / 8 oz and Mozeke Babassu Twisting Cream $12 / 8 oz. I also tried Mozeke Whipped Avocade Cream but found this to be too moisturizing resulting in shrunken twists which was not the look I was going for.

Using just my fingers I parted off sections of hair, applied one of the creams, gently detangled using my tangle teezer, then twisted.  Look at the picture above you can see the effects of shrinkage on curly hair; my twisted length is more than twice as long as my stretched hair. *shakes angry fist @ shrinkage* 

If you are looking to showcase more of your true length while protective styling you should give this method a try.  Check out my video below for a complete rundown of my styling process. 

DIY Protective Style: Havana Twists

Since posting this picture last December I have received so many questions about this style “Where can I get this done?” “Where can I buy this hair?” “Can you show me how to do this?” While we know that this style originated from Afrigenix Salon in New York and that the style is just really thick kinky twists the question remains for those of us outside NY how to achieve this look. Well you are in luck because all of these question and more have been answered!

Fingercomber.com retailer of the Havana Twists bulk hair has put together a tutorial on how to create this style at home.  To achieve Havana Twists, you need Havana hair which is different than the hair used for puffy twists, kinky twists, or marley hair.  From the website:

Havanna Hair is a soft, yet highly textured man made hair fiber that is created to blend well with a broad range of natural hair textures. It is created to be long lasting and re-usable. It should be washed and treated in the same manner of natural hair, and it benefits from the application of natural oils, co-washing and water-spritzing. It can be used to create a variety of natural hair styles, but it is most popularly used to create “Havana Twists”. To create Havana Twists, you will need between 5 and 7 packs, depending on the thickness of your hair, and the desired density and fullness of the look you are aiming to achieve.

So once you have ordered the hair you need to install it.  The installation method is the same as other twist extensions used for yarn twists, kinky twists, etc. but if you are not familiar you can check out the tutorial here with full pictures. This style is definitely on my list of protective styles to try during the fall/winter months. What about you, are you feeling these Havana Twists?

Natural Hair Style: Flat Twist Updo with Scallop Bang

Flat Twist Updos are now my FAVORITE style!  They are incredibly low maintenance making them a cinch to keep up with and they can easily last you at least  two weeks.  I would love to take credit for this style, but all the props go to my stylist Dakota of Natural Alternatives Salon — actually Koko and I have an agreement that I can take credit for his work whenever I feel the need to brag, however this time I will not.  I actually kept this style in for a little over 2 weeks and enjoyed the fact that I did not have to do anything to my hair and it still looked great! 

To achieve this look my hair was cleansed and conditioned with PhytoSpecific, then detangled.  Next Dakota sectioned of 1/4 of my hair in the front-right side and clipped away.  The remaining hair was flat twisted upward.  He then took the flat twist and made a sort of basket weave pattern and pinned them into place.  The last section was two-strand twisted and then pinned to look scalloped.  It took him a little over an hour to complete this style not including dryer time.  My hair was twisted using Phyto PRODUCT NAME HERE which is a thick white paste, he only needed a fingertip-full per twist.

For a complete review check out my YouTube video 

My Wash-N-Go Routine

The Wash-N-Go. This is the first style every natural should master as it is the simplest.  Now while the style in itself is simply wearing your hair in its naturally curly state the challenge for some comes with the battle to keep their curls defined.  I have harvested my technique over the years through trial and error, advice on message boards, youtube videos and other blogs.  This is what works best for me and my hair, your results may vary.

A WORD ON CURL DEFINITION. If you have followed me for any time you should be familiar with my motto, “F— hair typing”. I do not care about hair typing. I think it is divisive and places undue emphasis on something that is not very important in the grand scheme of getting to know your hair and what products work for you. However, this is an area where hair typing comes into play. We all have different curl patterns. Defining a zig-zag shaped curl will not transform it into a Botticelli spiral curl.  So do yourself a favor. Hop into the shower, cleanse and rinse your hair, then load it up with your favorite conditioner.  Step out of the shower, grab a mirror and take a look at your curls. This is the best they will ever be defined by a hair product.  Take notice of the type of curls you have, it is possible to have several different curl patterns on your head. Take a picture and label it “My Wash-N-Go Goal”

HOW TO ACHIEVE THE BEST WASH-N-GO.  Start with clean, detangled, soaking wet (dripping) hair. Separate your hair into manageable sections, I use 6.  Take down one section at a time and apply FAVORITE LEAVE IN CONDITIONER from root to tip then clip back into place.  Complete application of leave-in conditioner on remaining sections. Next, take down a section of hair, add enough water to re-wet the section and apply FAVORITE CURL DEFINER using a smoothing motion from root to tip then clip back in to place.  Complete application of curl definer to remaining sections.   Thirdly, remove the clips and shake your head to help reset the curls (I nod my head yes, then no, then touch my ears to my shoulders).  Fourthly, I grab a bottle of FAVORITE OIL SPRITZ and mist my hair while shaking it.  This helps to add shine and to eliminate the crunch you can get from curl defining gels.  Lastly, the most important step, DO NOT TOUCH YOUR HAIR UNTIL IT IS COMPLETELY DRY. Touching your hair before it is dry will add to frizz which is the nemesis of well defined curls.  I let my hair air dry but you can sit under a hooded dryer or use a blow dryer with a diffuser nozzle to dry it quickly.

My current favorite products for achieving my best wng are: Kinky Curly Knot Today as my leave-in conditioner, Donna Marie Mircacurl Curling Gelly as my curl definer and Darcy’s Botanicals Coconut & Hibiscus Conditioning Oil.  Click here to see a list of my other favorite products.  A small note on mixing products from different manufacturers. Product manufacturers formulate their products to work together.  Mixing and matching products from different product lines may result in unwanted side effects so use caution. (Kinky Curly Curling Custard is known not to play well with products from other product lines.)

5 Tips for Achieving the Best Wash-N-Go

  1. Start with soaking wet hair
  2. Use a leave-in conditioner to keep your curls moisturized
  3. Smooth the curl definer from root to tip in a downward motion
  4. Use an oil spritz to keep the crunch away
  5. DO NOT TOUCH YOUR HAIR UNTIL IT IS DRY!

Check out my Wash-N-Go Routine Video

This is my wash-n-go routine that I have been using for a couple years now. While the products have changed and my hair has grown longer this method has remained true for me.   If you find this method helpful, congrats go forth and share with others.  If you use a different method that gives you great results, awesome good for you please leave a comment with your method below so others can learn from you.  Who knows you may introduce me to something that makes my wng hair routine even better.