Natural Hair Transitioning Styles

As a former long-term transitioner I understand the frustration of those still making their way through.  Here are some style tips to make the transition run smoother.

The Braid-Out: This was my go-to style for transitioning.  To do this style I sprayed my hair with settting lotion and plaited my hair into 10-12 braids making sure to braid them in the direction you want to go.  If you need help keeping the relaxed hair from unraveling, use mouse, gel or hairspray.  You can also use rubberbands, clips or barrettes to hold the ends.  I also like to use perm rods or rollers at the ends.  This will give you a braid-n-curl as shown in the picture.  You can also do the same with twists.  I did not do many twist-out styles while transitioning because my hair would unravel and I found that the braids held better.

Two-Strand Flat Twists: While I never did this style while transitioning it is another great choice.  These are perfect for those who do not have the tactile ability to actually cornrow hair.  You can use the same process as the braid-out above.  But if you are blessed to be able to cornrow your own hair or have a friend who can that is also a great option.


Straight.  During the first several months of my transition I continued to wear my hair straight because it was the easiest thing for me to do.  After washing and conditioning my hair I would blowdry straight and follow with a flatiron.  The focus was not on achieving super straight hair, but simply trying to match the textures.  I would wrap my hair at night in a satin scarf to maintain.

The Wet Look: This was a very easy style.  I would simply wet my hair in the shower and sometimes co-wash.  Then I would just leave a little conditioner in it.  If you have super straight ends and want more of a wavy look then plait your hair into 6 large braids and allow to dry.  You can also add some gel to coax out the texture. To minimize the puffiness of my roots I wore a flexi-comb headband as seen here. 

These are just a few styling options while transitioning.  What have you tried?

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Recap: DCN Present Curls & Cocktails Part 2

With Curls & Cocktails Part 1 under our belt, I was amped and ready for session two which would focus on cutting natural hair.  Like the first, this event was sponsored by the Natural Alternatives Salon and was planned by Red Carpet Events.  My goal of this session was to showcase a live big chop where one fabulous natural would be ushered in to the natural hair community surrounded by her curlfriends.  I also wanted to showcase stylized natural hair cuts and provide inspiration passed the traditional fro.

The night was gorgeous and we expanded the event to the upstairs private patio for cocktails, music and mingling while the downstairs salon area was open for interaction with the stylists and to network with other curlies.  The cocktails were sponsored by Rhythm liquor and there were giveaways courtesy of Go Natural Hair & Body Boutique  and DCN.

Stylist Shaha with Big Chop Models Ieesha (left) & La-Tisha (right)

I am so proud to say that in front of a full capacity crowd we watched not one, but two live big chops and a layered cut by stylists Shaha and Dakota.  I had the opportunity to meet many new naturals still early on their journey who were looking to see what the natural hair community has to offer and I am glad to say that we did not disappoint!

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Our next Curls & Cocktails Event will be Friday, August 15 @ 8:00 pm see invite to RSVP.

Click here to see more pictures from the event

DCN Favorite Things Giveaway #2 Oyin Handmade *CLOSED*

DCN recently observed our 1 YEAR ANNIVERSARY and I thought what better way to celebrate then to share with you my favorite natural hair products!

Our 2nd Giveaway is sponsored by Oyin Handmade, you can read my reviews of their products here, there and also here.  I love this company for their cute packaging, great products containing awesome natural ingredients and the little candies they ship with every order.  And while I am a DIYer and make my own hair spritz I still continue to purchase their spritzes because they are AWESOME!

The folks at Oyin were kind enough to sponsor this giveaway which includes a large basket filled with goodies valued at $73 :) The basket contains:

16 oz. Honey Hemp Conditioner
8 oz. Juices N’ Berries
8 oz. Honeywash
4 oz. Shine & Define
4 oz. Burnt Sugar Pomade
4 oz. Whipped Pudding
OMG, yes this is the mother of all giveaways and I am giving it to you free!

To enter the giveaway you must:

1. Subscribe to my blog > enter your email address in the “Subscribe Me” box located in the footer menu below.  Leave your username in the comment so I can verify that you have subscribed example: myusername@yahoo.com. ***Unconfirmed entries will NOT count***

**Bonus Entry**

You can also earn bonus entries through fb and twitter:

#1 Tweet this giveaway then leave a comment stating “I tweeted the bonus entry” with your twitter handle. Example tweet: I just entered DCN @oyinhandmade giveaway @HereIsMySpout http://wp.me/p1owB1-dl

#2 Like Oyin Handmade and Derby City Naturals on FB then post the following message on YOUR Wall: I wanna win the Oyin Giftbasket from Derby City Naturals Favorite Things Giveaway. Then leave a comment stating I posted the message on FB with your fb user name. *Rule change 8/10/11: Please post message on YOUR FB wall as Oyin’s page was being overwhelmed by entries, all previous entries have already been counted and do NOT need to repost*

The contest is open from Tuesday 8/9/2011 through Monday 8/22/2011.  Winner will be selected via random.org random number generator.  Winner will be notified via email address used to subscribe to the blog and will be announced via blog, fb and twitter. Winner will have 48 hours to claim their prize.

For more free stuff, check out our Pura Body Naturals Giveaway running through Wednesday 8/10/2011. Good luck :)

CONGRATS TO NUREKA DUNCAN YOU ARE THE WINNER OF THE GIVEAWAY!!! PLEASE CHECK YOUR EMAIL FOR INFORMATION ON HOW TO REDEEM YOUR PRIZE, YOU HAVE 48 HOURS.

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.

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 :)

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.

Ice Cream Social & Product Swap

Aside

You’re Invited…

Ice Cream Social & Product Swap

Saturday, June 18th 2011 2-4 pm

Homemade Ice Cream & Pie Kitchen

1041 Bardstown Road Louisville, KY  (lower Highlands location)

Saturday 6/18 Homemade Ice Cream & Pie Kitchen is having an ice cream social where each scoop is only 25 cents.

I thought it would be a great opportunity for us to get together socialize, talk hair and have a product swap.

We will be meeting at the lower Highlands locale between Grinstead Drive and Highland Ave. Bring a few dollars, your clean gently used products and your fierce head of natural hair. Well behaved children are welcome.