How I: Keep the Curls Alive 

I recently had my old hair sewn in again by a very talented Baltimore stylist. The hair was from my frontal install last summer featured in Stylist Alert! and dyed black featured in From Brown to Black

I believe the texture is Brazillian deep wave or beach wave or something of that nature. To keep my curls looking fresh every day I have two go to routines. 

One routine is simple bantu knots. About five small ones at the top to blend my leave out and the twelve inch bundles. Then the bottom is sectioned off into either three or four large bantu knots. 

Another routine is the same five small bantu knots and then four or five braids at the bottom.  

The last routine is just five or six braids, braided from the leave out down. 


In the morning, I simply unravel. I spray a little water on the individual braid or bantu knot add some Miss Jessie’s Soft Curl and let it dry. 


And this is the end result! 

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Bobbi Boss

For the past three weeks, I’ve been wearing a long, blunt cut bob using Bobbi Boss hair.  Bobbi Boss is a premiere brand that I came across in the beauty supply store.  I know “premiere” and “beauty supply don’t exactly go together.  With a field, in marketing, I’m well aware that price and place often effect the perception of the product and the value it has in our minds.


Anyway, I took a trip to the beauty supply store because I just wanted some cheap hair for the style I wanted to try.  As I said before, it’s long, blunt cut bob.  I figured that since I wanted to cut the hair for the bob I didn’t want to shell out a lot of money, and I only wanted  like 12 or 14 inches, keep it simple. Now when I say cheap hair I don’t mean synthetic, nor do I mean shed my life away.  So off jump, at the beauty supply store options are limited.  I browsed and saw the Bobbi Boss Blaze brand.  Just for clarification, Bobbi Boss has several brands and several different types of hair.  The Blaze brand is one of the cheaper brands and is characterized as Human Hair (Yaky) not Remy, which is known for being more premiere and of a higher quality and grade.  I purchased two packs of the Blaze 12 and 14 inches for like $36 each.  Each pack has two bundles.


I went and had the hair installed by Tea (go check her out).Since the hair was being cut and it was cheap I expected to see a lot of shedding in the days after my install.  Nope! There has been like no shedding at all in three weeks! Except for the natural shedding when you brush, that your natural hair experiences.  Because I’m used to always getting Indian, Remy hair because it matches best with my real hair I wasn’t sure if the texture of the Blaze was going to blend well.  Well it does.  The Blaze brand did an extremely good job at looking just like my real hair, it blends wonderfully.  I was also skeptical that because it was so cheap that after a few days wear and tear it would start to tangle up.  Not the case.  I only experienced some tangle when I curled the hair and constantly put holding spray on it because I was redoing the curls. But there’s a quick remedy for that.  A nice shampoo, conditioning and blow out and the hair is back to its normal glossy state with no tangles and no shedding as promised by the companies tag line.


The Blaze brand is the only brand I’ve tried under Bobbi Boss but I intend to try more.  This brand surpassed my expectations and is a great way to look good without breaking the bank.  But my sister and I always say that its not how much you pay for your hair but how you take care of it.  I always try to treat any extensions like my own hair.  That means wrapping, washing, etc.  And let’s not forgot that a bomb stylist can make anything look good.

 

 

Stylist Alert!

Over the summer, I did a little bit of experimenting.  I got my first frontal! Being that this was a momentous occasion that deserved and required nothing but the best I had to get a stylist.  Hair is very important to me.  In my opinion it makes or breaks vision on any given day.  Also, I never let other people touch my hair, except for my sister (i.e. the person responsible for my custom colors) and the lovely Ms. Tina.  With that being said, the hunt was on to find a stylist. 


I believe the secret to successful hair is the right stylist (or at least a guiding hand).  Don’t flake on me and stop reading cause I said you need a stylist. In all actuality you don’t need a stylist but sometimes an expert opinion can be helpful even for the best do-it-yourselfers.

Trust me! I speak from experience. Your stylist is the person that’ll hit you with that reality check (ex. “cut them ends”).  A stylist isn’t there to scam money out of you or to hurt you in any way. You have to think of a stylist like your annual check up at the dentist. It’s your job to take care of your teeth but the dentists job to tell you you’re on the right track. The same goes for a stylist. They lay the ground work and you keep it going for the next three months.

Anyway, back to me so thanks to the lovely StyleSeat I was  able to find my stylist with no hassle at all.  When I tell you that Tea is heaven sent, I mean it! Y’all know all the black hair salon clichés, late, talking, ninety-nine kids running around, your hair is never dry, you don’t leave till forty-eight hours later etc.  There is absolutely none of that with Tea.  You have the salon and the chair all to yourself.  But that’s just icing on the cake, I found a stylist wth knowledge and skill.  The experience was cenetered around healthy, growing hair from the products used to how she layed the braids and the frontal.  Appointments every two weeks are insisted upon espeacially with a frontal not only to ensure that your hair slays but also for the care of your real hair, mainly those edges.

The tricky part about a stylist is finding one that has your best interest at heart. When I tell you quality over quantity you better believe it. You have to become the FBI when looking for a stylist. You dig up all their hair dirt. You can’t just take pictures you need testimonials and a trial run. Don’t just stick with anybody because there cheap. Cheap isn’t always better! Don’t stick around because of loyalty either. “She’s been doing my hair for years,” well that’s why it looks awful. Maybe you need to find somebody to put some redirection in your life. Your stylist should be just the right amount of wonderful in all aspects of hair, whether it’s natural or permed, braided or in locs, sew in, wig or lace. And you know you’ve found the right person when they hit you with “we’ve got to think about your edges”.  Truth is the most important factor in a stylist.


I’ve seen dozens of women with no edges and balding hair due to lack of hair care and a terribly indecent stylist. Moral of the story, if you don’t have a stylist get you one.

Do We Have A Problem

One thing that every natural girl knows is that she’s going to face some indefinent problems. Whether it’s that never ending struggle with shrinkage or someone just not understanding the motives behind her big chop.

  

1.Why can I never have a consistent curl pattern

           Maybe it’s just me but my curl pattern has never been consistent. The back of my        hair has always had a tighter curl than the sides and the top.  It can make life really difficult when you’re trying out new YouTube tutorials.

2.I’m not baldheaded! I’m reconstructing my curls!

           Just because someone decides on a big chop it does not mean that she has no hair, nor does it mean that she can’t grow hair.  Sometimes the most refreshing and helpful thing you can do for you hair is cut it.  Besides who doesn’t like trying out the cute short looks. I mean I live for @thecutlife on IG.

3.BAA (Big Ass Afro) & Long Hair Don’t Care are Equivalent

          Tight coils don’t always mean short hair.  Shrinkage is really real and it lies.  Shrinkage is basically the devil.

  

4.4C Hair Is Not Nappy

           There’s a strong perception in the media that loose curls are everything.  Don’t get me wrong they’re beautiful on the girls that have them.  But you know how society is if there’s a positive image there has to be a negative image.  So tight curls and kinky hair have been negated and to those persons who aren’t as culturally “woke” as others 4C hair can be seen as bad. Simply NOT true!

5. When Your Ends Dry Faster Than Your Roots

My own personal problem! Roots stay lying to you.  Wash days are tragic.  You think you’re all dry and that protective style is about to be lit.  Lies!  You’re roots have a different story.  Go ahead and two strand twists those bad boys back up.  You’re not going anywhere but to sleep until those roots dry.  Hopefully! Even in the morning you can be taking a chance.

6. Why Can I Never Just Use a Full Line of Products

I have never understood why I can’t use a complete product line.  At the most, I can use the same shampoo and conditioner, but then you add the oils, the hair milk, the holding gel, and my fav the edge control.  What is life without edge control?  Like why do companies even make full lines.  I know the technical reason I’ve learned about it in school but as a natural chick I just don’t see the purpose.

 

 

 

Bundle of Bundles 

Oh how we love the BUNDLES! Here are five places where you can get all your go to needs on bundles and wigs.

  
1.BIG CHOP HAIR: @bigchophair

BIG CHOP HAIR offers a range of extension products including bundles, clip-ins, partial wigs and closures.  Most of the items offered under BIG CHOP HAIR are of a natural texture, meaning curly.  The products span from all the hair types (Porosity, BKT & Other Strange Things ). There’s something for everyone whether curly or straight.  Also, with their products being real hair versus synthetic you  can be versatile and switch from look to look.

2.WowAfrican: @wowafrican

WowAfrican has bundles, closures- weaves and hair, lace fronts and partials  and clip-ins.  WowAfrican has a wide variety of virgin hair options ranging from Brazilian, Peruvian, Malaysian, Indian and European. They also offer hair accessories like clips for DIY clip-ins. WowAfrican also has straight, curly and coily options for all hair needs.  WowAfrican is also endorsed by YouTube vlogger and Instagram sensation Alyssa Forever (@foreverflawlyss).

  
3..HerGivenHair: @hergivenhair

HerGivenHair prides itself on offering extensions especially for those natural girls.  Clip-ins, bundles and closures are offered in all hair types/textures.  Along with hair, HerGivenHair also gives tutorials and hair inspiration on their website and social media pages for how to’s on wearing their product. HerGivenHair also offers blown out pieces for those girls who want a different kind of look or style.

4. City Republik: @citygirlcurlz

Along with wigs, both full and partial, City Republik also sells clothing.  City Republiks offerings aren’t as extensive as other sites.  However, the products they do sell for hair are quite beautiful.  The wigs sold are extremely full and voluptuous.  They give great body and life to whoever happens to wearing.  City Rebuplik also gives hair tutorials for their products and what other products work well.

5.Come Take A Puff: @cometakeapuff

Come Take A Puff speacilizes n custom units done by hand.  Wigs are the item of choice including lace fronts and bobs.  Items vary from short to long and curly to straight.  All items on Come Take A Puff are quality items made from quality hair.  They owner even wears them herself.  That’s how you know it’s good!

 

How Howard Changed Me 

So it’s safe to say I’ve come a long way from who I used to be. Where I’m from and where I am now are completely different. I’m sure you’re wondering what my life story has to do with hair, so I’ll tell you a story. 

  
Once upon a time, in the 757, there was a young girl- ME!  Anyway, all my life “I had to fight”-Color Purple, just playing I had natural hair. I never saw a perm. Although I did see that hot comb and all I had was sense enough to stay still and a prayer my grandmother had a steady hand. The sense took awhile to sink in. With that being said, I always wore my hair straight, well in braids and ponytails until I was like eleven or twelve. I had beautiful hair. It was thick, tight curled, 3C-4A hair and I was always curious about my curly hair. I remember staring in the mirror after getting it washed and playing in my curls wishing I could keep my hair like that. As I got older my curiosity grew. I always had the wash part down but I didn’t know how to maintain the go, so I ended up looking like Mufasa from Lion King. I was completely clueless. At my high school the only girls I really remember wearing natural hair were the mixed girls and while I have my fair share of non-African roots I’m still a black girl. There wasn’t a lot of natural hair inspiration. YouTube wasn’t popping with the tutorials like it is now or if it was I knew nothing about it. Natural hair just wasn’t prevelant. So I lived out 2008-2012 with my flowing, straight hair.   

  Fast forward to The Mecca, The Hilltop, The Real HU, Howard University. With an intro like that you know you’re bound to come up on some knowledge whether you’re trying to find it or not. My freshman year was a time of transition. I didn’t just have a natural hair inspiration I had a natural hair world. When you come to place that’s deep into it’s roots you learn to find your own roots, and that’s what I did, literally. I found my roots. I was researching natural hair, trying new protective styles, going to information sessions. There’s always a booth, table or something set up for hairstylists or companies. Miss Jessie’s always has a tent during homecoming. With such easy access to products and information I finally learned the “go” part. 

 

Whenever I go back home I always take a mental note of how things are very much the same as far as natural hair. There’s more now like my nieces and some of their friends but not a lot. I’ve noticed that the 757 has fallen into a stereotype. You know the one were there’s bad hair and if you’re black you automatically have it. So not true. There’s no representation. At Howard I see a variety of hair types and all are beautiful. I’ve seen the prettiest girls with the prettiest natural hair and guess what it’s that 4B hair. You know that hair that “isn’t quite good enough”. I just want my city to understand that it’s ok to be different. It’s ok to be the inspiration you see in others. Proctor and Gamble said it, “my black is beautiful”. My words of wisdom are that the best things are accidental and completely without precedent, so be that! 

  

Why So Dry?

Dry curls are something that I personally have to work hard at avoiding. Some things that effect dry curls are dandruff, porosity-which we previously discussed and heat.  

Dandruff is a word that’s pretty common. You see commercials for it all the time with Head & Shoulders. But if you’re like me you know that shampoos like this aren’t always the cure for your dry hair. Sometimes dandruff can just be heredity from conditions like eczema. So you should always go to the doctor and check up on that because all the products in the world might not save you from something that’s naturally going to effect you. But as a backup, here are some things you should know. Coconut Oil, Cocounut Oil, Coconut Oil, I can’t say it enough. We’ve all seen those memes that say Cocount oil fixes everything and it’s kinda true.

 
Cocounut Oil is the best way and probably the easiest way to get rid of dandruff. Unless you like looking like a bowl of Frosted Flakes. Olive Oil also works well for removing dandruff. Basically if it’s an oil it’s more than likely going to be beneficial to you and your search for undesired dandruff. 

We’ve already had an intense discussion on porosity so I’ll just tell you to refer back to an older post, Porosity, BKT’s & Other Strange Things.

Heat is a topic of much discussion as it should be. While you’re effortlessly  walking around with you hair blowing in the wind, all the heat that was put into your hair for that Snapchat photo could be causing you more harm than good. Now as I’ve said before I use heat just as much as the next femele but all things in moderation. Excessive heat damage was a reason I cut my hair so too much can become a very big problem. Along with ruining your curl pattern, heat can be a major contributor to dandruff and dry scalp. Pulling back on your heat intake for two weeks or even a month or two can be great for your hair. I promise you you’ll see a difference. In January I ended my month and a half long no heat regimen and my hair was never better. There was growth, no dry scalp and moisture.  

Dry scalp is a problem for many a person but I hope a little of this knowledge can go a long way. 

What’s Life Without Your Favorite Things 

Favorite Styles: 

  1. Wash N’ Go
  2. Bantu Knot Out
  3. Flexi Rod Set
  4. Wash N’ Go Bun   
  5. Pin Curls 
  6. Heartless Curls 

 
Favorite Products: 

  1. OGX Coconut Milk Shampoo 
  2. OGX Coconut Milk Conditioner    
  3. Mixed Chicks Leave-In Conditioner 
  4. OGX Coconut Milk Anti-Breakage Serum 
  5. KeraCare Oil Sheen 
  6. Parachute Coconut Oil (IG:@naturallylit26)                        
  7. Olive Oil Wrap/Set Mousse 
  8. Ampro Shine n’ Jam 

  
Styles 1-4 I use on natural hair and I use products 1,3,6,7 & 8. Styles 3,5 & 6 I use on straight hair and I use products 1,2,4 & 5. 

My favorite styles are Bantu Knot Outs and Flexi Rod Sets. Usually I combine the styles. When I wear my natural hair with this short cut I use Bantu Knots and Flexi Rods on the longer pieces of my hair because that part still has heat damage on the ends. I’ve found that I like combining the protective styles because it gives the appearance of different curl types which is what your natural hair looks like anyway. 

As for the products, I’m absolutely in love with all OGX products, especially the coconut milk series. Since I cut my hair the Cocount Milk has really helped restore curls and keep them nice and tight. I only use Mixed Chicks occasionally and it’s usually for the purpose of keeping my hair moisturized when it’s natural. I try not to use Mixed Chicks when I plan on wearing straight hair because the product tends to weigh down my hair. Parachute Coconut Oil is simply a revelation. When my hair is natural, the Parachute Coconut oils keep my hair from being all dry and flaky. But like the Mixed Chicks conditioner I really only use it when I’m wearing natural. 

This has been a little insight into my fav things. Share yours in the comments! 

    What’s the Secret to a Successful Hair Flip?

     
    Seriously … what’s the big secret?  I mean look at Bey she kills a hair flip without moving her neck. I swear she has an invisible fan with her at all times. 

    Is it the eye contact or a good camera man or is just timing. Whatever it is for you tell us in the comments. Drop a video too. I love to support a good flip especially after a nice blow out!  

    …MIA 

    MIA? Missing In Action? Nope, not at all. MIA= My Inante Afro. 

    In recent years, there has been a spike in natural hair and everything that goes with it.  We’ve seen celebs drop the weaves and the wigs and embrace that natural stuff that grows out of their heads. People like Solange, Viola Davis and even the YouTube vlogger Alyssa Forever have made the ‘fro’ popping again. 

      
    People spend hours on YouTube and online searching for natural hair inspirations. All us naturalistas want that big fro that resembles a mountain of curls flowing with the wind. The fro has become a trend but that’s not all it’s become. The fro has become a positive image for African American women. 

      
    We look at the fro and see a strong, beautiful women. Whereas before, the fro could be seen as unkept or untidy an example of women with no guidance. Well not today. The fro holds the highest awards and esteem. Just think. Viola Davis won an Oscar. Beyoncé and the Super Bowl (need I say more). What’s scarier than a group of #flawless fro’s standing for a cause. Gabrielle Union and Taraji P. Henson often flaunt their #blackgirlmagic.

      
     The point is natural hair has become more than hair it’s a lifestyle. A lifestyle that says I’m on top and I own my life, my struggles and most importantly my success!