Finger Twirls

Guest post courtesy of my daughter SK

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.

Tools:

  • Garnier Fructis Leave-in Conditioning Cream
  • Lusti Organics Olive Oil Styling Gel
  • Safflower Oil
  • Denman Brush
  • Overhead Dryer
  • Bobby Pins

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.

Avo-Coco Hair Smoothie

DIY Deep Conditioner you can whip up yourself in your own kitchen.
1 ripe avocado
1 ripe banana
6 oz  coconut milk
2 Tbsp oil, try coconut or olive oil
1Tbsp honey

Mash avocado and banana in a bowl.  Stir or whisk in coconut milk, oil and honey.  Apply to hair, cover with plastic cap and allow to sit for 15-20 minutes.  Rinse and proceed with styling.  For a recipe with more protein check out this post.

This is a super delicious smoothie that is good enough to eat!

Bantu Knots

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:

  1. Start with cleansed, conditioned and detangled hair.  Allow hair to air dry until it is about 90% dry.
  2. Section off a desired amount of hair.  Apply Darcy’s Botanicals Pumpkin Seed Conditioner to each section, detangle and smooth using tangle teezer.
  3. Twist each section in a clock-wise motion then wrap around the base to form a knot.  Secure with a bobby pin if necessary.
  4. 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.

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Product Review: Tangle Teezer

The Tangle Teezer

www.tangleteezer.com

Available online @ Amazon or locally at Sally’s Beauty Supply

$9.99

Tangle Teezer also available in pink, purple, blue and green

The Tangle Teezer (TT) isn’t not a new product nor is it new to the natural hair scene.  For years people have raved about this odd looking brush that magically detangles hair without ripping or pulling.  I was hesitant to try it as it seemed like just another bandwagon tool and I was getting good results with my shower comb and Denman brush.

However, on a trip to Sally’s with a friend who was transitioning I wanted to show her all the detangling options.  We were actually going to scoop up a Denman but they were out so I decided to give the TT a try.  I have reserved posting my feelings about this brush because I just didn’t want to believe it worked.  I put my brush to the test using it on straight weave, 2B, 3A hair before I would consider putting it to my hair.  It performed very well in all these circumstances.

I decided to give it a whirl on my 3-Day Old twist-out that I co-washed with Yes to Tomatoes conditioner.  My hair was sopping wet and full of condish which made handling the TT sort of difficult.  Because the TT does not have a handle but instead a compact ergonomic design that fits in the palm of your hand.

I separated my hair into 6 sections and began running the brush through the top, then underneath followed by the sides.  It felt like it didn’t do anything so I grabbed my Denman and ran it through the section and surprisingly it went right through!  When I finished detangling my entire head here is all the shed hair gathered from the TT, I normally loose 3X as much if not more when detangling.


I detangled my hair with the TT two more times since then.  Once with damp hair and Yes to Cucumbers Leave-In condish.  The results were the same but I found it was much easier to hold the TT because my hair wasn’t as wet.  The final test would be dry detangling.  I NEVER dry detangle my hair as the snack, crackle, pop and yanking are too much to bear.  I started with a small section that I spritz with Oyin Juices & Berries.  Again the TT slid through and tamed my snarls.  I AM A Tangle Teezer Believer!!!

Wet or dry this brush works like nothing I have ever experienced before.  The secret is the short numerous tines that detangle the outer layers of tangles first.  I think the downfall or traditional brushes/combs is that the tines are either too long or their rows aren’t placed in the correct pattern to gently catch and unravel the snarls individually.

I let my girlfriend use it on her hair and she fell in love too!  It detangles and gives a nice scalp massage which she loved!  Her only complaint was that the brush is designed to be held in the right hand and she is left-handed so it took her a while to get over the learning curve of combing with her right hand.  I had to make sure she didn’t slip my brush in her purse when she left :)

Cuzzo Ro Chopped & [Cork]Screwed

This is my Cuzzo Ro aka Queen of the Fluffy Hair

On the regular, when talking about her hair I quote Agnes from Despicable Me, “It’s so fluffy!”  She is constantly complimented wherever we go for her awesome corkscrew curls and gravity defying volume.

Lately we’ve been talking about chopping our hair as both of us transitioned for about a year and have not worn our hair short in quite some time.  Also with Summer approaching we have been talking about cute cropped styles to change up our look. We also talked about experimenting with color; highlights, lowlights and everything in between.

It was all talk.  Or so I thought.

Cuzzo Ro called me and said, “OMG I have a surprise for you!”  I just knew she was going to show up with a bright Rihanna red or cool Beyonce blonde.  I opened the door to find her fluffy bangs have been tamed and defined while the back and sides had been trimmed close in a tiny ocean of swirls.  We both screamed and laughed in excitement!

Her hair was styled by Dakota of Natural Alternatives Salon who we consider to be the BADDEST in the Derby City.  Ro was washed and conditioned in the bowl then her hair was gently blotted with a micro fiber towel.  She was then cut using shears and taken back to the bowl to rinse and apply product (Kinky Curly Knot Today and Curling Custard).  Lastly she went back to the station to clean up the cut and for finishing.  She was lightly blown to set the style.

Fierce Cut – Side View

Fierce Cut - Back View

One word: FIYA!  If you are looking for a hot summer look and are here in the Derby City check out the stylists at Natural Alternatives Salon by calling 502.473-8882.

Blended Beauty Independence Day Sale

Blended Beauty is having an Independence Day Sale from now until July 5th 2011.

Take an additional 20% off any TWO items with coupon code: CheersThe4th at checkout on http://www.blendedbeauty.com

I have not tried these products, but the company has been around for sometime.  You can find plenty threads about the products use on hair forums, message boards or on youtube. Here is a review from YTer PrettyDimples01 http://youtu.be/a0RDWOnHAEo

The company also has a guide to help you select the best products for your hair needs.  Blended Beauty products are 98-99% natural and do not contain petroleum, mineral oil, silicone or acrylics.

Product Review: Kimble Bounce Back Curling Revitalizer

Kimble Hair Care System

Bounce Back Curling Revitalizer

8 oz $12.99

Available at Target, Amazon

ing: water, glycerin, PVP/dimethylaminoethylmethacrylate copolymer, polysorbate-20, propylene glycol, hydrolyzed human hair keratin, panthenol, extract of: yarrow, witch hazel, mallow, rosemary, horsetail, horse chestnut, dandellon, cotsfoot, sage, elder flower, hops, lavender, thyme, fennel & chamomile aloe vera gel, tocopheryl acetate, carbomer, phenoxy-ethanol, magnesium sulfate, methylparaben, propylparaben, ethylparaben, butylparaben, disodium EDTA, benzophenone-4, FD&C Red #40, FD&C yellow #5, fragrance

what they say: Bounce back to vibrant, natural looking curls with Kimble Haircare Bounce Back Curl Revitalizer. This botanical-infused styling cream smoothes and boosts each individual ringlet, enhancing overall body and definition. Hair results in increased shine and dimension. Great for those with naturally curly hair.

This is another product that took sanctuary at my house after my girl T Payne gave it the boot.  She had picked up BBCR at Target looking for a good Wash-n-Go gel that she could find on the ground that was widely available.  We were both eager to try Kimble Hair Care System products because it is the product line of famed Kim Kimble and were proud that it was going to be carried in Target stores across the US, Black Girls Rock!  Anyway T Payne used the gel a few times and her results were less than stellar so she gave it to me to try.

The product is basically a glycerin hair gel that claims to moisturize, soften and define curls.  First, I tried it as a wash-n-go styler applied to damp hair alone.  In a few hours my hair dried frizzy and undefined, fail.  Next I tried on top of KBB Sweet Ambrosia to see if I could get better results.  My hair still did not look more defined so I applied KMF Upper Management Gel on top and got good results.  However I get good results with KBB and KMF without BBCR so that was also a no go.  Lastly I tried it on a chunky twist-out.  I applied the product to damp hair and twisted my hair into about 12 twists and let dry.  When I untwisted my hair was no more defined then when I just a leave-in condish, and it just turned big a frizzy.  No bueno.  Bottom line the BBCR just isn’t the one for me and really didn’t see a use for it.

My daughter tried it mixed with Eco Styler gel and it did help remove some of the crunch she gets from Eco Gel alone. However she can also get those same results by using an off the shelf curl activator at a much cheaper price.

While I really wanted to like this product and I gave it several chances to impress me it simply failed to do so.  I would not recommend the purchase of this product and would not purchase it in the future.