The US Marine Corps has implemented new hairstyle regulations for female Marines. These women now have the option to wear their hair in locs or twists as part of the new standard, braided styles were already allowed by previous standard. The Marine Corps is the first branch of US military service to allow locs.
For more information, check out this article on the official US Marine Corps website http://go.usa.gov/cKPNf
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.
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
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?
Bee Hold Curly Butter
8 oz for $13.97
ing: 100% Shea Butter, 100% Aloe Vera Gel, Essential Oil Blend, Vegetable Glycerin, Rosemary Leaf and Chammomile Extract, Silk Powder and Perfume
From the manufacturer: This shea butter and aloe based curly butter is packed with rich moisturizing nutrients to give you long lasting moisture and promote growth. It has a soft touchable hold that will help to defrizz your frizzes and give great definition. This Curly Butter is wonderful for twists, finger curls, puffs/pony tails and especially for laying down unruly hair. Great for naturals, relaxed, texlaxed, everyone.
I received this product as a giveaway from the #HGKWW tweetchat hosted by my twitterfriend Jess (follower her on twitter @HGKWW and check out her blog). I was really excited to try the product because I had heard a lot about it but had yet to lay my hands on it.
First impression: I wasn’t really impressed. The butter is shea based and my hair really doesn’t care for most shea based things. I used it first for a wash-n-go styler and I was less than impressed. It performed ok, but was really no different then other cream stylers.
I wasn’t ready to throw in the towel yet. I used it a second time but this time for a chunky twist style. I rarely do my hair in chunky twists but decided to try something new. What I can say is that while it twisted similar to other products it really did help seal in the moisture resulting in smooth twists and an awesome twist-out.
Me + Granddad
I have used the product 3 times for twists and once for banu knots and it performed perfectly on each style. I used it as a one step moisturizer + sealer; my hair stayed soft and moisturized for an entire week until I washed it again without moisturizing it again at any time during the week. This products is definitely a keeper!
I used to hate chunky twists. I just thought they looked absolutely awful on me.
And then, well, they didn’t.
I was preparing to go to my cousin’s baby shower and wanted to flaunt a fabulous ‘do. The twist-out is my go to style but I was too tired to twist my hair as normal so I decided to rock out with 24 twist (4 in the back + 6 in the middle + 4 on each side above my ears + 6 on top) this is half of the amount of twists I normally do. I planned on throwing a knit cap over them in anticipation of a fugly look but it turns out that I actually like the way it looked. More than that I was able to complete them in 30 minutes, score!
Chunky Twist-Out I tried this style several more times since then and will have more posts including product review on Bee Mine Curly Butter used to create it and ways to style your twist-out.
Coconut Hair Pudding
$15.50 for 8 oz
ing: Coconut Oil, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Sunflower Oil Dipalmitoylethyldimonium Chloride (A derivitive of Palm Oil) aloe vera, acrylates, alkyl acrylates, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Polysorbate 20, Cinnamon Cassia.
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.
I am convinced that bobby pins are tools of the devil. They poke, they prod and they love to play hide-n-seek in my coils. I have always admired those who were able to sculpt their hair into magnificent updo styles, but that ability has always escaped me and I blame the bobby pin. It always seems that no matter how many bobby pins (or hair pins) I use I just cannot get my hair to “stay”. So I watched with a gleam in my eye hoping that one day, I too would be able to one day perfect the updo.
Here ye, here ye, let it henceforth be known that I have perfected the updo.
…and I did it without bobby pins #pow! So how did I do it? Let me introduce you to my new best friend oh yes, meet the Scunci Upzing. This tool is genius! It is two side combs attached by stretchy i-cord. It is super easy to use: simply slide a comb in on one side, then grab the other comb and slide in on the other. Done. The I-cord in the middle helps keep the hair in place and also prevent the combs from slipping.
I have been wearing this style all week in a variety of different ways. I first wore my hair in two-strand twists using Entwine Creme de la Mold. After a few days I took the twists down and wore a twist-out. I have changed the the style several times wearing an updo with side bangs, a pompadour and ninja bun, faux french roll with bangs, faux french roll with loose flat-twist bang (see above) as this style was so easily transferable.
The Scunci Upzing can be found almost anywhere hair accessories are sold Walgreens, Target, Wal-Mart or online at Amazon. I even heard that there is a cheapy knock-off at dollar stores. This is the best $3 I have ever spent. So if you like me are bobby pin impaired you really need to check out the Upzing.
this is the first updo I did while my hair was still in twists
faux french roll w bangs done on twist-out