Thursday, 2 October 2014

Twists and Puff - this week's low manipulation style

Imagine a day when there are no classes, no work, and no scheduled activities....

...Tuesday was such a day for me!

So what better excuse can there be to play in my hair and experiment with a low manipulation style?

I had deep conditioned my hair the night before, so in the morning I shampooed and towel-dried my hair. Starting out with the style was hard. I don't usually deviate from twist-outs or braid-outs, so planning a style I would keep for a week was tricky. 

I was clueless as to what look I wanted to achieve, but I knew that I would be doing some twists since that's the easiest style I can do.

After much fumbling and uncertainty, I ended up dividing my hair into five sections. 
  • In the front, I made chunky twists and used bobby pins to create a kind of "pompadour".
  • In my crown area, my hair felt very moisturized so I skipped adding any product and did not de-tangle. I simply left my hair to air-dry in a ponytail. (Think "wash and go")
  • I also put chunky twists in the back section....well, maybe they were a bit too chunky since the twists still refuse to hang straight down!
  • Lastly, I made a cornrow on each side of my head near my temples, and pinned the ends up towards the "puff" or ponytail. 

Yesterday I slightly altered the look since I took down the ponytail section, moisturized my hair and also put that section into chunky twists. This way, my entire head is in a low manipulation style and I don't have to worry about my crown area tangling during the week. 

I'm loving the ease of this style since I don't have to re-style daily. I'm also preferring doing short term low manipulation styles like this one instead of braids. I love braids but I can never keep them looking neat for more than two weeks! o.o I won't even start on how long it takes to install braids.

This style took me about two hours since I wasn't sure what I was doing, but I overtime, the time will shorten as I'll become more comfortable and skilled in doing a variety of hairstyles.

What's your "go-to" low manipulation style?


Saturday, 27 September 2014

The Wash and Go on type 4 hair

This Wednesday I did my wash day a little differently..

...I tried the Wash n Go.

There are sooo many videos and blog posts devoted solely to this hairstyle.
It's been called the "white girl" hairstyle since its modeled after the technique of Caucasian women simply washing their hair and letting it dry with minimal styling and manipulation.

While some women with type 4c hair gush about their successful wash and gos, other women with similar hair type declare the impossibility of achieving it!

Given the split in opinion that, in my opinion, nears controversy over the wash n go on afro hair, I was skeptical about achieving the style myself. However, on a whim I decided to try it.

It might be hard to tell in the photo, but my crown has quite a few coils and curls!

This was actually the second time trying this hairstyle. Here's what I did:

  • I shampooed and deep conditioned my hair in twisted sections, then I released all my twists while my hair was still soaking wet in the shower
  • Then I gently blotted my hair with a towel and gave my hair a shake a couple times.
  • After, I applied some olive oil to my palms then gently passed my hands over the ends of my hair, and rubbed the oil into my edges. I did this about three times, then did the same process with some shea butter.

Wet hair fresh from the shower.

  • Lastly, I used a blow-dryer with a diffuser attachment for about 15 minutes. My hair was about 70% dry in the picture below.

Styled, semi-dry wash n go. 

After blow-drying I love how my hair looked, even though I lost some definition in the crown (where I have the waviest pattern) as my hair became more puffy as it dried.

At the end of the day, however, my hair had dried out quite a bit and felt stiff coarse. It was tedious to go back in section by section to thoroughly moisturize it before I cornrowned my hair.

The verdict?

This is the second time trying the wash and go, and both times I realized I achieved the style with minimal tangles because my ends had been freshly trimmed or I didn't have many split ends that usually cause major tangles. (If you read my blog regularly, you know I battle with tangles and single strand knots!)

My first wash and go was done a few weeks ago, but I had later re-styled my hair much sooner, and my hair didn't feel as dry. So, I know need to re-adjust how I moisturize and seal my wet hair to prevent it from drying out so much at the end of the day.

Technique, plus the state of my ends, seem to be very important in achieving this hairstyle, and I will definitely continue to experiment with the wash n go.

What do you think about the wash n' go?


Monday, 22 September 2014

ORS Nourishing Conditioner in a bottle?? (and other musings)

On Saturday I visited my local Pennywise beauty supply store with no definite intention of buying products; window shopping was the aim of the day.

That is, until my eyes fell casually on the Organic Root Stimulator Nourishing a bottle!


It will suffice to say that I snatched that bottle up, baby!

(Okay, I may be a little late on the scene...but I've only ever seen this conditioner in the sample packets, so excuse my enthusiasm!)

When my hair was relaxed this product was my favourite conditioner; it provided so much slip and softness to my hair! It continued to deliver when I began transitioning to natural hair, and although I've only used it a handful of times since being fully natural, I expect that it will still be a wunder-product for my kinks and coils.

The second product I bought was the Vo5 Tea Therapy Revitalizing Shampoo. I remember reading a favourable review of this product by a hair blogger months ago, so I decided to try it. I've used it once so far and it was gentle on my hair. 

Thirdly, I purchased some shea butter by Ashanti Naturals. The first time I bought 100% natural shea butter it was by "Okay African Shea Butter". I never used that shea butter on my hair because I felt it was waay too sticky and I hate it when my hair feels like glue. I'll be uploading a separate post soon with how I plan to make a homemade shea butter mix for my hair.

And finally, every black woman's staple: bobby pins!

And my new side-kick: hair shears. I loved my first pair but whilst I was travelling it was taken from me in the airport (silent tears may have been shed).

"I don't need these products! I have too many already!!" - said no hair junkie ever.



Saturday, 6 September 2014

Trimming my Natural Hair (Second Trim)

Tonight I decided that it was time for a much needed trim.

For months now I've been plagued with single strand knots and tangles at the ends of my hair, which I felt indicated that those ends needed to go. My last trim was in seven months ago in February, when I went to a barber shop. Since then I put off trimming my hair myself because I thought it would be waay too time consuming and complicated...

...but you know what? It wasn't.

Well, it wasn't complicated. But it did take me about an hour to thoroughly go through my hair section by section!

I previously had my hair in seven cornrows, so as I undid each one, I separated my hair into three to four sections, twisted each section, then cut off the end of the twists from where it was significantly thinner than the body of the twist.

I followed the technique from youtuber jemy1415. You can watch her video below for a visual of what I did.

My twists with fresh, blunt ends after the trim:

And here is a random picture of what my shrinkage looks like. This photo was actually taken on damp hair, before my trim:

I waited seven long months between my first and second trims. Lets see how long I'll last before the next one! 


Saturday, 30 August 2014

Back to Hair! Blog Update

Wow its been six months since my last blog post!


I admit my motivation for blogging did wane quite a bit and I regret the time I spent away from the blogsphere. To be honest, I've settled into the routine of my hair and its not as exciting as when I first big chopped.

So I realize that I need to remind myself why I blog. Well, keeping a hair blog is useful for recording both the struggles and accomplishments with my hair so that over time I can reflect on how much my hair has changed. I can record what products and techniques I find useful or not so useful, and of course there's the opportunity that the information I record here will help someone else, who like me, craves all knowledge of how to care for 4c hair.

So now that that's clarified, on to the tasks at hand. Next week I start classes in my third and final year of university. Of course, I'm excited and nervous about the new semester, especially about my time management skills. o.o

It's a fight, but I really want to devote attention to both my studies and my blog.

Starting with my blog (sorry studies, you have to wait) I plan to update the blog design soon and spam upload more posts as we enter the month of September.

I'm now 1 year 6 months post relaxer!

Relaxed hair to transitioning hair to fully natural hair. Kinky, coily, "nappy", whatever you call it, I love my hair!

If you had to sum up the last 6 months of your hair journey, how would you describe it?

Much love,

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Hatter's Adventures (Hair Update)

February marks my one year post relaxer milestone!!

Since the new university semester started in January my time has been eaten up with school work. Making the time to blog regularly is proving to be a challenge, but keeping track of my hair journey is essential!

Since I did the big chop in December, I put my hair back in braids in January, and took them out about two weeks ago.

Then, on last Friday 7th February I went to the barber shop on my campus (yes, I went to a barber shop) and had my hair trimmed in an attempt to even out my hair. Well, my hair is STILL uneven (the back section especially is too long in proportion to the rest of my hair) but at least the shape isn't as bad!

My fro after the trim.

Last week I put my hair in small twists and kept them in for about 3-4 days during the week. I admit the twists were fuzzy but hey! I certainly wasn't going to waste the time and effort I took to do them. On one day I used a gold headband to spice up the look and make it look a bit more polished.

That was the first time I twisted my natural hair and I already knew that twists will be my go-to low manipulation style. Not having to comb or manipulate my hair everyday was a blessing!

 On wash day I unravelled the twists and got this result:

le twist-out

Over the past few days I've been wearing twist-outs, and I'm loving the fluffy look I get. I re-twist my hair every other day and sleep with a satin scarf over a bonnet.

So far the only issue I've had with my twa is that I've started to notice single strand knots on the ends of my hair, especially since taking down my twists last week. Do you know any tips on how to reduce SSKs? With my patience level, I can't afford to have to battle a head full of knots!

Other than that, I am most satisfied with my hair. Deep conditioning and moisturizing regularly is preventing breakage and major shedding, while detangling on damp hair is proving to be effective in minimizing tangles and pain from combing.

On a new note, last week I came across a small business based here in Trinidad that produces all natural hair care products. I quickly contacted the owner and bought flaxseed gel and bees wax to use in my twists. I'm yet to take the time to do a product review of the items I purchased, but I will mention that the company's name is "Happy Curls, Happy Girls". If you're in Trinidad and interested in supporting our local entrepreneurs, you can check out the facebook page here.

Ayyee I need to catch up on my blogging!
Stay sweet,

Monday, 13 January 2014


Two days before Christmas I tried to do the big chop.

I say "tried to" because no matter how much hair I cut it seemed like I always had some elusive relaxed ends hanging on to my natural hair.

Now, exactly three weeks later (after much snipping every wash day) I can say that I am au natural. Its a bit hard to believe that three weeks have already passed! My hair has given me minimal trouble and no fuss.

Eleven months post relaxer and loving it!

My natural hair!

My natural hair is much more easy to manage than I expected it would be. Since my hair is short it takes me only an hour (!) to style and even less time to wash and condition.On wash days I start by sectioning my hair into braids then deep conditioning, shampooing, rinsing, drying and styling. I've been playing around with flat twists and I still have a lot of practice to do before I'm comfortable with flat-twisting.

Before manipulating my hair I always start by spraying it with water to soften my strands and then moisturizing or adding conditioner or oil before I use a comb. By doing this I haven't experienced any significant breakage. Patience is also key in managing 4c hair.

I am so grateful for the women on youtube who share how they take care of 4c hair. Without them I definitely would not have been as equipped to transition to natural hair. Here are some videos that I've gotten styling tips from:

I may be getting my hair braided again today because tomorrow I go back to Trinidad and thus back to university life. I really want to continue taking care of my hair as it is, but I know braids would save me a lot of styling time that I could use on my studies.

Lots of love,