No-heat Curl Techniques for Natural Hair

Greetings Daizies,

One thing I love about natural hair is how versatile it is and the fun you can have with trying new styles. You can morph your hair into different patterns and styles without changing your natural texture. If you’re looking to rock a new curl style but don’t want to use heat on your hair, there are an array of methods you can try to achieve the look you want. Granted, a lot of these take time and practice but it’s great to experiment and learn as you go.

Flexi rods

Flexi rods are literally exactly as they sound. They are rods that have a felt type of texture but a flexible wire in the middle so that you can bend around your hair. The thing with this method is that you have to have some time on your hands. And I mean time time. When done correctly, I have seen such beautiful results.

Tools needed:

  • Flexi rods
  • Wide tooth comb
  • Foaming or setting lotion

You can either try this on wet hair or stretched dry hair. If you want small spirals, you will use smaller sections of hair and more flexi rods. For bigger spirals use larger sections and the thicker flexi rods. With my first attempt, I started running out of flexi rods and had to cram large sections of hair onto the skinnier flexi rods, which I’m sure affected my outcome. I purchased the 42 pack which I thought would be enough, but for thick natural hair, I would recommend twice that amount or starting off with blown out hair. My hair was stretched from day 3 twist out and my hair required way more rods than I planned for.

Foams such as Lottabody Foaming Mousse are great styling products to use for flexi rods and perm rods as well. It’s a wet product that helps mold your hair to the shape of the rod. Make sure your hair is dry before taking the rods out. Take your time when putting the flexi rods in and taking them out. Don’t rush the process.

Perm rods

Perm rods are similar to flexi rods except they are shorter and made of hard plastic. They are slightly more comfortable to sleep in and I had a better experience since I had one consistent size of rods.

Like with flexi rods, patience and neatness is key. I used Lottabody Foaming Mousse again but I’m sure any curl smoothie-type of product would work. In small-medium sections, wrap your hair firmly around the perm rod neatly tucking the end under the previous loop of hair. Clasp the rod with the cap and move on to the next strand. This takes around 2-3 hours depending on how fast you work.

Twist-out

Twist-outs are a natural hairstyle staple. You can do very large twists depending on time or desired look or do a more detailed twist out by twisting in smaller sections. I like using creams rather than foams for my twists.

By year 2 of my natural hair journey, my twist-outs had improved dramatically. I had learned to take a firm grip and not lose that same energy throughout the twist. It helps to glide my finger around the strand as I moved it around to form the twist. Being firm and taking my time are the keys to success.

Curl formers

I’ve seen this method a lot on Instagram and the process is mesmerizing to watch. I haven’t tried this one yet but I’d be interested to see how it turns out. It involved using a hook to pull your hair through each curl former. It looks like it works on 4c hair as well.

Bantu knots

Bantu knots were one of the first styles I tried when I did the big chopped. I loved the way it gave me sleek natural looking curls. You can even rock the bantu knots for a while before unravelling them. I found it helpful to complete a full twist, as if going for a twist out, and then circling into the bantu spiral. This gives me more definition when taking down my hair.

IG: @actually_ashly

Have you tried any of these methods or other ones not mentioned?

As always,

Advertisements

How to Keep Your Hair Looking and Feeling Fresh While in Protective Styles

This is the perfect season to rock protective styles. The weather is cold in many places which signals dryness for a lot of people with natural hair. But just because your hair is tucked away in braids or twists, doesn’t mean you can slack off with taking care of your hair. It does more harm than good if you forget about your hair for weeks and then expect to see the benefits of low maintenance styles in the end. Here’s some way to get the most out of protective styling while also making sure your hair is still cared for.

Cleanse your scalp

Have you ever had a style that still looked cute but your scalp itched so bad you’d rather take it down instead? Getting a couple of scalp cleanses in the duration of the style can help it last longer and not lead to the uncomfortable itchiness that makes you want to take your hair down as fast as possible. It may seem like an impossible task to wash your hair when in styles like braids or twists, but you can still cleanse your scalp and you’ll probably be more comfortable because of it. You don’t want to deprive your scalp of a good cleanse for several weeks, which leads to build up of product and dirt. Washing your hair while in braids or twists won’t take nearly as long as when your hair is out and free. I cleanse my scalp every 2 weeks when in braids, crochet, twists or any protective style. I’ve managed to do this without getting all of my braids wet and it taking days to dry. Since the focus is on your scalp you’ll need:

  • a spray bottle
  • conditioner
  • water
  • hair bands

Wash Day method

  1. Mix 1/3 cup of shampoo into 2/3 cup of water into spray bottle
  2. Section hair into fourths
  3. Start with one section and left the ends of your hair up and spray directly onto your scalp
  4. Massage the mixture gently onto your scalp
  5. Repeat until each section is complete
  6. To rinse, fill the spray bottle with water and in the same fashion lift one section of hair up so that the water only runs onto your scalp
  7. Rinse each section

I use more water than shampoo for wash day in this case so that I am not disrupting the neatness of my hair with all of the lather that comes with shampoo. Lifting the ends of my hair up and out of the way helps for long hairstyles and to avoid the trouble of trying to go to sleep with wet braids. You can always blow dry you hair if it does get wet, but I like to avoid this all together. After shampooing, I condition in the exact same manner. I dilute the conditioner and complete the process just as with the shampoo.

Tools needed for conditioning:

  • Spray bottle
  • Conditioner
  • Water

Daily Moisturizing

The point of a protective style is to have your hair protected for an extended period of time. Your hair is mostly protected which is good, however applying a moisturizer to your scalp and to the exposed pieces of your hair will aid in healthy scalp maintenance and preventing dryness to exposed strands. After wearing twists for several weeks, there are pieces of my natural hair that I can see sticking out. My natural hair and the extensions are the same color but I can obviously tell where my hair is showing by the texture. Since this part of my hair is now exposed to the environmental elements that can cause dryness, I apply a leave-in conditioner and coconut oil to the twists I know have pieces of my hair showing. It’s easier to tuck those pieces in especially once moisturized.

Even lightly spritzing your style can add some life and longevity to your look. I fill my spray bottle with water, vitamin E oil, almond oil, and castor oil to quickly moisturize my scalp and freshen up my twists every few days. This adds extra some shine and sheen to my hair.

Redo your edges or the front of your hair bi-weekly

For braids, twists, faux locs, or other styles that are installed individually, you can revamp a style that’s getting fuzzy in the front by simply redoing the first row or two every couple of weeks. My goal was to keep my twists in for six weeks and I was able to do this while keeping them looking almost brand new by redoing the front rows. There were also a few pieces here and there that bothered me throughout my hair, so when I had time I just redid them so that I could get the most out of my hairstyle.

Don’t keep your style in too long

All good things do come to an end. While you can keep a style in and looking great for a while, you don’t want to leave the style in forever and risk your hair matting up with build up. The recommended time to wearing a protective style is around 4-8 weeks. For me I wear my styles for about 6 weeks. It’s important to give your hair a full wash and deep condition after having your hair tucked away for a while, and also give your hair some time to be free.

My 2019 Hair Goals

Happy New Year!!!

A new year is here and I love the openness to a fresh start and new possibilities. When it comes to goal setting, I love starting with a clean slate and dreaming up new benchmarks to meet. With Curl Calendar in hand, it’s time to not only set my hair goals for the year, but also think about what I can do to meet these goals so at the end of 2019 I can look at my hair journey and say “wow I did that?” Here are my top hair goals for the year:

Curl Calendar hair goals section

Oil my scalp each night with moisturizing oils

Using oil on your scalp is not only relaxing, but it helps to stimulates hair growth. I have always moisturized my hair each night and follow up with an oil but this year I want to pay special attention of how I treat my scalp and really take my time to give myself nightly scalp massages. I am starting to collect essential oils now and use them for aromatherapy but also have included some in my hair routine. I would love to be consistent with seeing how my hair reacts to peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil, lavender oil, frankincense oil and more.

Wear protective styles for 6-8 months of the year

I see the most growth retention when my hair has been in a protective style. I want to protect my hair even more this year and continue wearing my hair in low maintenance styles. I also want to do these styles by myself. What I once thought I couldn’t do on my own, marley twists, I ended up doing that in December and I’m still rocking the style. I look forward to trying new styles and colors!

Get trims every 3 months

Tangles and knots really cramp my style. Waiting too long for trims result in having to get more hair cut off. I want to consistently get trims so that I don’t run into this problem and my hair stays healthy and fresh.

Treat my hair gentler and refrain from picking at my knots and tangles when they do appear

With natural hair it’s common to run into knots and tangles even when your hair is overall healthy. Sometimes my curls just get friendly with each other and decide to intertwine. I often get frustrated and think there’s something wrong with my hair. I want to stop the bad habit I have of snapping these knots off for no reason. It often happens when I’m bored and not really thinking about doing it. I think my hair would appreciate it.

Grow my hair to 18 inches or mid-back.

I feel like my hair length has sort of plateaued and I want to see some length this year. My last length check was a complete year ago and I came in at an average of about 12 inches. Hair grows an average of 6 inches so by now I SHOULD be at 18 inches but by the looks of things I feel like I’m at maybe 15? I’d like to at least be at 18 inches. From a visual standpoint, I would like my hair to reach the middle of my back.

How I Plan to Reach These Goals

I plan to have fun mixing different oils and seeing how they feel on my scalp. I’ll pay attention to the smells, the consistency, and the relaxing elements to see how my scalp reacts to each oil combination. I’ll use the key essentials checkbox in Curl Calendar to make sure I am including it in my daily routine. I’ll have a try with the handheld scalp massager and see if it’s easier to use that when I’m wearing protective styles than using my hands.

For protective styles, I plan to grow my confidence in my styling abilities by just going for it first and seeing how the style turns out! Youtube tutorials and Pinterest boards can make any style look cute and it’s easy to doubt that you have those abilities. I can easily find someone to do my hair but I’m very interested to see what I can do on my own and want the flexibility of having what I want done whenever I want and not only that, I love saving MONEY! I’ll set a weekend for styling and I’ll just DO IT!

Getting trims every 3 months will be all about timing. In between protective styles, I will schedule a professional trim so that all of the care I’m putting into my hair won’t go to waste with damaged and split ends.

I think having my hair in a protective style for majority of the year will help with my tendency to pick at my tangles and knots. I think also practicing more mindfulness will help me focus on being present with whatever I am supposed to be doing and not get carried away with tangles in my hair. I also think thoroughly detangling my hair mid-week, when not in a protective style, would be great.

My length goal can be achieved with all of the goals I listed above. If they aren’t I won’t be hard on myself. If my hair is healthy, than that’s all that matters.

Take a few minutes to check out my store on Etsy and give Curl Calendar a big thumbs up! Set and stay on track with you hair goals this year with a personal natural hair planner like Curl Calendar.

What are your 2019 hair goals?

Thanks for reading!

Every Hair Product I Own| A Guide for Shopping for Natural Hair Products

Greetings Daizies,

Taking inventory of all of the hair products I had under the sink was something I always wanted to do when I had time. It was equivalent to something like “oh maybe I’ll maybe I’ll finally dust the window blinds” or something of that nature except more fun. In the weeks leading up to my first paycheck from my full time job, I was so excited about all of the hair products I could finally buy. I would finally have enough to spend a little bit more just trying new products and seeing what works best.

My full collection of natural hair products

After a few months, these products accumulated. I  tried a variety of different products and even brands. As 2018 wraps up, it’s also a great time to note which products I’m interested in restocking  for 2019. This post would be super long if I reviewed every single product shown so I will just provide a link for you to purchase from Amazon and a brief description of how I group my hair products.  Many products I have done reviews for such as: Shea Moisture Mask for High Porosity Hair,

I’ll put a * next to products I’ll buy again in the future.

Shampoos: Cleansers, Regular Shampoos

When looking for a shampoo I always make sure there are no sulfates, parabens, or other harmful ingredients. I shop for shampoos that have clarifying ingredients and ones that will relieve itchiness. It’s great to have a staple shampoo as well. My staple shampoo is the Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle which I get directly from Trader Joe’s. All of the ingredients are natural and I love the tingle feeling on my scalp. I’ve only tried the Sacha Inchi Oil Omega 3,6,9 shampoo once and it seemed to work fine.T

Conditioners: Leave-In Conditioners, Deep Conditioners, Masques

I have probably 3 times as many conditioners as shampoos. This is because I use shampoo twice a month and deep condition every single week. I like to make sure I have a thick masque for intense moisture, one I can use for any time, and I look for conditioners that target specific issues such as itchiness/dry scalp, which is why I found the Shea Moisture African black soap conditioner so helpful. The Suave conditioner serves as a “holy grail”, a product that hasn’t failed me, so I make sure I always have this in stock. Curl smoothies and leave-ins are both interchangeable to me in the categories of stylers and conditioners. Depending on the moisture level and thickness of the products, a curl smoothie or curl defining cream can work as a leave-in conditioner.

Styling Creams: Curl Smoothies, Puddings, Moisturizers, Leave-In Conditioners

I love a great twist or braid out, so a great product with hold and moisture that defines and elongates these styles is crucial. I like to try products with essential oils and ingredients I haven’t tried before such as red palm oil, blueberry abstract, and cocoa butter. One thing I’ve learned is to read what the directions are for the product and whether it says to use on wet or dry hair. This determines just how often I’ll be able to use the product considering I don’t style my hair directly after wash day. 

Butters and Oils: Sealants, Essential Oils

Thick butters and oils are necessary for my hair to seal all of the moisture I’m putting into my hair. It’s the last step of my moisturizing routine and it’s helpful in maintaining manageable for my hair and combating dryness. 

I have my sights set on finishing most of these products before doing a new haul. It’ll probably take a while to finish them since I plan to have my hair in protective styles, with breaks in between, until the spring. Feel free to ask me any questions about the products listed and provide suggestions for new things you think I should try!

Check out my new natural hair planner Curl Calendar here.

As always,

Product Review: Shea Moisture Masque for High Porosity Hair

Greetings Daizies,

Before putting my hair into my next protective style, I spent 3 weeks with my hair loose and free. I bought Shea Moisture High Porosity Moisture Correct Masque with Mongogo and Hemp Seed oils. I had no idea what Mongogo and Hemp Seed oils were but I did know about porosity and that my hair is mostly highly porous. You can check out my blog touching on hair porosity here. The product intends to “deep condition and revive damaged, color treated hair and all hair types.” I was ready to give it a go.

I prepared my hair like I always do. This time including shampooing since my scalp needed the cleanse, and sectioning my hair into fourths. The product was very thick, like a Greek yogurt that was half frozen. I always love thicker products. I used a wide toothed detangling comb to evenly distribute the product through each and every strand. This is so important so I don’t end up leaving some parts of my hair out and they miss their blessing.  After about 45 minutes I was ready to cover with a plastic bag and a warm towel (an alternative to a deep conditioning cap) and left my hair to marinate for about 30 minutes.

I noticed that I used almost half the jar with the first use. I was very heavy handed probably because I bought this masque on sale and had a spare one still left. I’ll try to squeeze in 2 more uses though. 

Rating this product, I’ll have to think of it in both short and long term sense. Short-term as in how my hair felt right away and long-term for how well my hair held on to moisture throughout the week.  Most of the time I can tell right away if I liked a conditioner/masque by the ending results, but for the purposes of this masque being geared towards high porosity hair, a closer watch in the long run was needed. I can’t really say “Oh wow my hair was so moisturized the rest of the week I barely needed to touch it” or that I noticed some jaw dropping difference just yet. But I felt like this was a successful masque when I was rinsing it out of my hair and could feel the curls of my natural hair taking in all of the moisture. After drying my hair with a t-shirt I loved the shine and bounciness of my curls. how manageable my hair felt immediately after the masque and the following day. My hair felt full and lush. I followed with a leave-in conditioner and set my hair in large twists to stretch my hair overnight while it dried.

My hair still needs to follow LCO method throughout the week no matter what. I would love to try the product consistently for about a month to see if it truly helps with retaining moisture, but for a first time use, I find the results promising. 

As always,

DIY Avocado Masque on 4C Hair Results

Greetings Daizies,

A few weeks ago I went ahead and tried making my own avocado masque ti deep condition my hair. I hadn’t tried a new DIY mixture in a while and there happened to be a sale on avocados at my nearby grocery store. I figured it was the perfect time to try something new!

Ingredients Used

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 5 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon of shea butter

I was in a daze of confusion in the grocery store and the look on my face must’ve been obvious when a lady helped me determine which avocados were the best to pick. What I gathered was the darkest ones were the best for use right away. She also told me that if you put your avocados next to a banana then they will become ripe whenever you want them. Has anyone tested this method? I ended up just picking some that were ready for that day

Mixing it All Together

You might already know how to peel an avocado, but since I absolutely hate them as a food, I was very surprised at how easily the skin fell off. It was like with one slice I could take the rest of the skin off. I took all of the portions off and mushed it together with a spoon. I then added in my favorite oils and shea butter and mixed together as smooth as I could before putting it in the blender. 

At first, I had a very hard time getting the blender to turn. I added more oil so that it would be smoother and the liquid would help the blades turn better. After about a minute or two I had a thick masque I was content with.

Expected Results

My hair on a typical wash day

Because the mixture was so thick and contained penetrating oils like olive oil and coconut oil, I expected the masque to thoroughly hydrate my hair. 

Actual Results

Y’all, this was actually the worst DIY masque I have ever tried. I was picking avocado flakes out of my hair for the rest of the day. My hair was so dry and my natural curl pattern was disrupted. It was like I didn’t deep condition at all.

After the avocado masque

That being said, I know this works for a lot of people, but it just was not for me. I ended up doing a co-wash afterwards so that my wash day didn’t completely go to waste. I am not sure what it was but my hair did not respond well to this mixture. But hey, that’s what experimenting is all about. Sometimes you find a keeper and sometimes it’s an L.

Have you tried a similar DIY avocado masque? What were your results? 

I hope you all have heard about my very first product Curl Calendar now. Curl Calendar is a printable natural hair planner available on Etsy to help track your natural hair progress, stay accountable to your hair regimen, and reach your hair goals. I have been so excited to finally launch one of my ideas and this is just one of the first. You can read more about it here in my introductory post.Please check it out on Etsy and like my store!

Thanks for the love and support.

As always,

My SheaMoisture Product Haul| 6 products for $30!!!

Greetings Daizies,

Well would you look at that, October is almost over and we’re on to the best month of the year! Yes my birthday month of November woohoo.

Anyways, last Saturday I was scrolling through Snapchat stories and a friend had posted on her story that there were SheaMoisture product sales at Walgreens. I mean, half-off type of sales. Coming to find out, this was at my local Walgreens near where I live. I finished what I had to do and marched down there so fast. I basically wiped the shelf with whatever was remaining. I figured why not treat myself.

It’s funny that there was a sale like this literally just a few days after putting my hair into a protective style, but it’s not often there’s a half-off sale and buy one get one half off of the already discounted sale. I initially bought 4 products, but the extra BOGO sale prompted me to walk back into the store and grab an extra mask and curling smoothie.

Here’s what I picked up:
Shea Moisture Sacha Inchi Oil Omega 3, 6, 9 Rescue + Repair Curl Defining Smoothie 12 oz

I can’t wait to try this for styling and maybe even a wash-and-go! I tried with my boyfriend’s 4c hair and it works great for defining coils. My favorite curl defining smoothie from Shea Moisture so far has been the Red Palm Oil curl elongating smoothie. So it will be interesting to see if this smoothie can top those results.

 Shea Moisture High Porosity Moisture Correct Masque, 12 Ounce

I love that there is a product dedicated towards the hair needs of each porosity. I did a hair porosity test lest year and it revealed my hair was mostly hair porosity. My hair soaks in moisture easily but it exits the hair strands quickly. I hope this masque actually does what it says and seals the moisture in my hair .

Shea Moisture Sacha Inchi Oil Omega-3-6-9 Rescue & Repair Clarifying Shampoo for Unisex, 13 Ounce

I’m always happy to find a good clarifying shampoo. Healthy and growing hair starts with a clean scalp.

 SheaMoisture African Black Soap Dandruff Control Conditioner | 13 fl. oz.

So far I have tried the African Black Soap Clarifying shampoo and will try the others once I take my crochet style down. I was experiencing a super itchy scalp last week and so I used this conditioner alongside the shampoo that I loved from this line. Both of the products worked really well and has soothed my scalp this week. I have also been using tea tree oil mixed with Jamaican black castor oil to combat the dry scalp and itchiness as well.

I’m so happy I came up on some sales last week. I’m ready for whenever I take my hair down! Stay tuned for the full reviews of the hair masque, shampoo, and curl smoothie.

As always,

-POP (1)