Natural Wedding Hair and I Don't Care

Natural Wedding Hair and I Don't Care

2015 has been a busy year. What with moving house and giving birth to our third daughter there has been enough excitement for a good while. I've also been working on a few natural hair projects one of which was doing a friend's hair for her wedding at the end of the summer. This was an excellent experience but nerve wracking to say the least. I thoroughly enjoyed the time experimenting with styles and discovering how my friends twa 4C hair reacted to different products and techniques.

During one of our hair consultations I mentioned how I really admired her for going against the grain and wearing her natural hair for her wedding day, I wish I had done the same for mine! We got onto the subject of how some people around her reacted to her decision to wear her natural hair. Sadly there wasn't much encouragement. "Aren't you going to get a weave?" Some asked. When my friend refused a weave, others even suggested that "You could get a natural looking weave?". I personally thought this was very rude as it implied that her natural hair wasn’t good enough. 

What a shame. Despite these discouragements my friend went ahead and commissioned me to work on creating a simple wedding style with her natural hair without the use of extensions, weaves or wigs. She really wanted to feel and look like herself on her special day so she didn't succumb to the pressure to conform to what other people thought was the 'appropriate' type of hair to have for a wedding.

So here was the finished style. She chose a perm rod set with a loose flat twisted bang. Her beaded hair band and pearl bobby pins were from Accessorize. I used Cantu Shea Butter as the leave-in, coconut oil for sealing and shine and Creme Of Nature’s Moroccan Argan oil Foaming Wrap Lotion for the set. For a little edge control I used ORS Olive Oil Edge Control.

So are you thinking about your wedding day hair?
Here are three things I would consider:

1. Make Sure You are Comfortable with Your Hair on the Day

Don't let others tell you you must not do this or that because it's your wedding day. If you're someone who always wears a weave or wig because you're unsure about how to adequately care for and style your natural hair (because you’re new to this natural hair stuff) then perhaps doing an all natural style for your wedding day may not be for you at the moment. 

Although, if you have the confidence, I would of course encourage you months before the wedding to at least try some styles on your natural hair to see whether you can make it work for you and feel at ease with the styles. If not, then by all means wear your hair in a style YOU are comfortable with, and if that means using extensions or attachments then so be it! When I first big chopped there were many times I just didn't know what to do with my hair and if someone came to me and said I MUST wear my natural hair out for an occasion I know I wouldn’t have been confident because I just wasn't ready early on in my journey. I didn't know enough and I was still learning how to manage and style my hair. On the other hand of course, if you're someone who does rock your natural hair on a regular basis then don't feel you have to suddenly change the way you look to please others on your special day just because they don't deem natural hair to be acceptable for an occasion.

2. Remember Natural Hair Can Look Good For a Special Occasion

Whether you're the bride or a guest don't limit yourself by believing you simply can't create something truly lovely with your hair. Even if you have problems areas you can try and work around those and see what can be done despite your issues. My friend had an area at the back of her head where the hair was very short but we worked round this by carefully considering the placement of the accessories and the hair at her crown. Be sure to meet well in advance with your stylist so you can be sure that the style you want actually works. Ensure you do a couple of trial runs until the style is just right.

3. Remember It's Natural Hair - Embrace Its Qualities.

If you are choosing to wear a natural style then don’t fight against your unique texture and pattern. Seek out styles that accentuate the features your hair possesses. Natural hair has fantastic sculptural aspects - use them! . Consider your head and face shape and hair length. Look for examples online which are a close match to your own desired look and see how you can adapt those styles to suit you. My friend was happy to work with the fact that her hair has tight kinks and coils and refused to lay completely flat around her edges. She was comfortable with her hair type and at the end of the day it didn’t actually matter whether a few coils sprung up here and there. She was comfortable embracing her natural beauty and if I must say so myself, she looked stunning.

Stay true to yourself.

B

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ROOT2TIP Products Review and Perm Rod Set Trial

ROOT2TIP Products Review and Perm Rod Set Trial

For the month of May I tried two products from ROOT2TIP. The first was their 'Quench Anti-breakage Creme' and the second was the 'Detangling Leave-in Conditioner Honey Rain Juice'. I wanted to try these products when doing a perm rod set. I've never used perm rods on my hair but I've been curious about what kind of sets I could achieve so I decided to have go while testing out these products.

The Set

I think the products worked well for the set and would have really done the job if I had changed a few aspects of the set. There are 4 things I should have done. Firstly, I should have really stretched my hair out well. I believed the stretch I had was ok but when I took out the rods you'll see that my roots look just a bit too puffy! Anyway, if I did the set on freshly threaded or blow dried hair the results would have been closer to what I was looking for. Secondly, I should have perhaps used flexi-rods as they have a longer area on which to twist the hair around therefore creating an elongated curl. Thirdly, the rods should have been left to dry properly! But I just didn't have the time that day! And fourthly, my hair needed to be wetter, perhaps with water or even a water based setting spray to give just a little extra hold.

More Thoughts

I was fairly happy with the set but I wanted to see how the products would work on a classic twist out on damp hair so after putting together the video review I quickly tried it out. I spritzed my hair with loads of water, then spritzed my hair with the conditioner and lastly added a little of the creme. I love, love, LOVE the definition!

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I think these products work better on damp hair that is set in a compressed style with braids, twists or bantu knots but I also think they are versatile enough to use in other ways. The creme perhaps as a conditioning creme to nourish dry ends and the Leave-in as a spritz to refresh your hair in-between styles.

Check out the full review video above if you would like to know more.

Check out the rest of the fabulous range at ROOT2TIP...another UK company producing great natural products for kinky, coily girls.  

B

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Afrocenchix Moisturiser And Shampoo Review

Afrocenchix Moisturiser and Shampoo Review

I've really enjoyed trying out these products from UK companies. There seems to be so many who  are striving to produce products that are highly beneficial for curly, coily hair. Us curlies should be really thankful that there are finally people who want to cater to our particular hair needs.

During April I used the 'Smooth' moisturiser from Afrocenchix. I had high hopes for the moisturiser and it did not disappoint! This creamy, lotion like moisturiser instantly imparted moisture (and lots of other natural oils) to my hair. As soon as I smoothed it along my hair it felt so soft and smelt amazing. I love products that smell like yummy desserts, and this one conjured up thoughts of fresh zingy lemon pie...mmm I felt like making one there and then. (Anyway, back to reality) I used the moisturiser when I took my hair down from my usual bun or to rehydrate my bang area which easily becomes dry due to the fact that I manipulate it more often.

Here is a bun style I did using the moisturiser. As you can see the twists were shiny (but not greasy), juicy and well defined.

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Check out the full video review below!

Have you tried Afrocenchix moisturiser and or shampoo before? What are your thoughts? I'm eager to try out the rest of their range perhaps in the coming months.

B

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African Threaded style //2

African Threaded style //2

Have you ever tried african threading? I believe there are lots of styles one can create using this method however I haven't seen many online which I feel I could wear on a day to day basis. So recently I have been trying to create some of my own!

I love using african threading on my hair. Not only as a gentle way to stretch my hair but also for day to day protective styles. Here is another easy style using threading which you can dress up or down depending on the occasion.

See what you can come up with!

B

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Hair out and about

4C Hair Out and About

Last saturday I went to wedding and decided to blow out my hair...well... try. 

I hardly ever use heat on my hair, perhaps twice a year but I thought I would give it a try for this occasion and do a length check while I was at it.

One piece of advice I wouId give to others when blowing out their hair (in addition to making sure you use a good heat protectant) is to make sure you properly detangle your hair. I did not. lol, I don't even know why I'm laughing because sorting out my roots and ends properly at the end of the day was not a laughing matter! I didn't really have the time to dedicate to properly detangling AND blowing out my hair that morning but I tried anyway. I used the tension method or else I would have had a lot of breakage using the comb extension due to my semi detangled hair. I used Cantu Shea Butter leave in and whipped shea butter as my heat protectants. I think I used a little too much of the leave-in which made my hair too wet and therefore increased the time I spend trying to dry my hair. I managed to get some length from the blow out and it was nice for the day but It's definitely not a style I will be revisiting on a regular basis as it requires too much time and the opportunity for breakage and tangles on my hair is high. ( I also don't particularly like how my hair feels when it's bone dry). How do you find blow drying your fine hair ladies?

B

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African Threaded Hairstyles

African Threaded Hairstyles

Here are a couple of quick styles to do on hair that has been chunky twisted or african threaded. These last me all week or longer and what I love is that I don’t have to manipulate my hair until I come to take them down but I can still change my style daily if I choose, just by re-pinning the twists/coils in a different direction and accessorising.

Have you given african threading a go?

Bx

Flat Twist Simplicity

The Simple Natural

In a previous video I said that loose two strand twists were proving to be a really easy go to  protective/daily style, and they were until I came up with another way of reducing the time I spend on my hair, easing the process of detangling and further protecting my fragile ends. And this is it. A semi flat twist style- yeah, not anything amazing but extremely helpful to me in my weekly routine. Check out my video to see more!

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Yes you can 4C that style! : Style 003 Side Swoop Bun

Style 003: Side Swoop Bun

Style 003: Side Swoop Bun - Here is an easy style to try with stretched 4C hair. This is a style for when you only have a few minutes in the morning when perhaps you haven't achieved the original twist/braid out definition you hoped for and you need a new style in the morning as a quick fix.

To create this style you will need:

  • Bobby pins
  • 12" Piece of hosiery material
  • Moisture (water or leave-conditioner)
  • Sealant (oil or a butter)

Instructions:

  • Start on stretched hair.
  • Section your bang area into a horse shoe shape and pin away.
  • Moisturise your edges.
  • Gather the rest of your hair into a bun using the hosiery material, tie and secure the ends using a bobby pin.
  • Divide the bun into two sections. Taking one section, gently twist, tuck and pin down the ends towards the back of the bun. Repeat this step with the other section.
  • Undo the bang area and gently comb the ends downwards with your fingers. 
  • Twist the bang section in an upwards motion towards your ear and pin the ends down towards your back bun. 
  • Use bobby pins on the top area of the bang twist to press it down.

Night maintenance

If you wanted to keep this style over night I would suggest doing three large chunky braids or twists. One for the bang area and two for the back buns.

How long does the style last for?

This style could be redone each morning for three days or perhaps more if your hair doesn't easily tangle at the roots. My hair starts to grow together at the roots if I leave it in a style that doesn't have lots of sections. So I personally wouldn't do this style for more than three days.

Happy styling!

Bxx

4C Summer Styles

4C Summer Styles

Hi everyone, I hope you are all enjoying your summer! if you've been looking for some new hairstyles to try, look no further! Check out my feature on 4Chairchick.com where I show you how to do 3 really easy styles for your summer events. And if you're at all interested in the accessories shown in the video, check out my etsy shop where I have lots of handmade hair accessories in the 'Verano' 2014 collection. Enjoy!

Bx

Yes you can 4C that style! : Style 002 Chunky Twist Updo

Style 002: Chunky Twist Updo

Style 002: Chunky Twist Updo - Here is an easy style to try with stretched 4C hair. It's fast to do and you can play around with pinning the twists in different positions to create a new look.

To create this style you will need:

  • Bobby pins
  • Long elastic hair band 
  • Moisture (water or leave-conditioner)
  • Sealant (oil or a butter)

Instructions:

  • Start by doing roughly 25 loose two strand twists. When twisting, ensure the twisting at the roots is loose and then gets progressively tighter towards the ends. Make sure you have at least 5 in the front.
  • Starting from the back, divide the back horizontally so you have a top section and a bottom section.
  • Take the ends of the top section, bring them together, roll, tuck and pin them downwards while slightly pushing the roots upwards towards the crown of your head.
  • Now taking the back bottom section, bring the ends of your twists together, twist and pin upwards and tuck the ends away.
  • Place your elastic hair band across the top part of your forehead with approximately 5 of the fringe twists underneath the elastic. 
  • Take the ends of the fringe twists and curl them over the elastic and a little way towards your ear.
  • Tuck the ends down and secure with a bobby pin if needed.

Night maintenance

Simply re-twist the chunky twists to neaten up. Spritz your hair all over with the style installed and cover with a hair scarf. In the morning use your fingers to gently press the twists outwards so that they don't look flat or pressed down. Now you can position your elastic over your fringe area again.

How long does the style last for?

This style can last for a week to two weeks. If you would like to wash your hair with the loose twists installed I would suggest re-twisting them a little more tightly at the root and then proceeding to wash them. This is to ensure your roots do not tangle when you wash your hair. When you're done washing your hair, moisturise and seal each twist in turn and then stretch hair by making sure the twists are tight or you can band or african thread your hair in the pre-made sections. The next morning you can easily re-twist each twist loosely to create volume at the root.

Happy styling!

Bxx

 

Yes you can 4c that style! - Style 001: The Loose Twist Beehive

Style 001: The Loose Twist Beehive

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Before I went natural I believed that 4c hair couldn't be manipulated or styled easily and could only be done by a professional hairdresser. I truly believed that I could not do my own hair. I had no idea about the myriad of styles one can do on 4c hair just like any other hair type. Everything has changed since then, and now I know it is possible. During this series I will be sharing the styles I do to help anyone who may be feeling as I did before I began my natural hair journey. I hope to be regularly posting ' 4c style files' which will include how to create and maintain a style for a certain number of days or weeks. So remember, yes you can 4c that style!

Style 001: Loose twist beehive - A great little style to sport especially when you have two strand twists installed but it can equally work on loose 4c hair. This style is great to do if you want minimal manipulation for a least a week or two. You can even wash your hair in the twists and then re-install the style afterwards.

To create this style you will need:

  • Bobby pins
  • Hairband (optional)
  • Moisture (water)
  • Sealant (Oil or a butter)

Instructions:

  • You will need to start by doing loose two strand twists all over your head. These must be left in for at least one night. Make sure you moisturise and seal your loose twists. Make a side parting and section off the bang area. Undo the twists in the bang area, and while holding the ends twist and pin them to the side of your head, just above your ear.
  • Push the rest of your twists upwards. Then starting from one end of your head, roll the twists underneath themselves and move along until you reach the other end of your head. You can now twist and pin the twisted twists back on themselves as shown above.

Night maintenance

Simply re-twist or flat twist the bang area, spritz your hair all over with the style installed and cover with a hair scarf. (There's no need to undo the beehive you have created)

How long does the style last for?

This style can last for a week to two weeks. I would suggest taking the style down (not the loose twists just the beehive) after a week and moisturising and sealing the ends of your loose twists.

Happy styling!

Bxx

Protective styling for 4c hair

Protective Styling 

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Protective styling is to style your hair in such a way so as to protect or conceal the ends of your hair. The ends are the very oldest parts of your hair and tend to be the driest and in need of the most tlc. Protective styling comes in many forms such as twists, braids, buns, weaves, wigs, pin and tuck styles and also styles which incorporate scarves or head coverings. I have found there are two main benefits to protective styling for my hair texture.

Sealed in moisture for longer

When I do a protective style I find that my hair stays moisturised for longer. If I properly moisturise and seal my hair with a heavy butter (e.g shea butter) I can go for days without adding any more moisture to my hair. When hair is properly moisturised it is less likely to break.

Length retention

When wearing a protective style I find that I retain more length. This is probably for two reasons. Firstly because I am not manipulating my hair everyday therefore there is less chance of breakage occurring. Secondly, my hair is not repeatedly exposed to the weather elements or to garments and accessories like woolly scarves I might be wearing. 

As I mentioned earlier there are a range of protective styles you can do. I prefer not to use weaves, wigs and extensions for a number of reasons. Firstly I don't like to go to the hairdressers. I like to do my own hair as I know exactly how it should be treated. I also like to save money and time and I find going to the hairdressers (for me) wastes both (unless of course it is a special occasion). 

Another reason why I prefer not to use weaves and wigs is that I enjoying learning about my hair and how it reacts to different products and techniques. I would also feel there would be a risk of me forgetting to keep on top of moisturising my hair while wearing such a style, resulting in bad breakage when taking the style out. Lastly I have learnt that my edges can not take the strain of tight braids over a long period of time, I know from past experience that my edges would become badly damaged. (Please note I have nothing against anyone using these protective styles, the points i've mentioned apply to what I've learnt about my own hair!)

So when doing a protective style with my own hair I've noticed some styles are better for my hair type and texture than others. These are my top 3 protective styles:

 

1. Loose two strand twist

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  • This is my ultimate protective style at the moment. Loose two strand twists are just like the regular single twists , but looser. The looseness makes my hair look fuller which I prefer. I don't have the problem of the twists unraveling as I really twirl and seal my ends well so they stay put.
  • Moisture retention is good with loose twists, but if my hair does dry out I simply spritz and seal my hair without the worry of shrinkage and tangles.
  • I can also wash my hair while in this style and re-twist to neaten as and when I have the time. Which means if I don't have the time to re-twist all the twists in one go I can re-twist a section each day while still wearing the style. 
  • Loose twists allow for versatility of styling during the week and there is absolutely zero manipulation in the morning. I simply throw a hairband or hair accessory on and go. The longest I've gone without re-twisting is about 8 days but I could easily carry this style for two weeks or longer if I re-twisted it. The only down point to this style is that it is essential you do not wash your hair too many times while it is installed without re-twisting, or else you might end up with locs! I usually wash my hair once or twice and then I make sure I either take down the twists or re-twist.

 

2. Flat and chunky two strand twists

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  • I tend to flat twist the back area of my head while chunky twisting the top and front area to allow some versatility of styling each day. Pros are that you can easily carry this style for days without having to re-do the whole the style each morning hence reducing manipulation and breakage during the week. The moisture retention is very good when wearing this style.

 

3. Tuck and pin 

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  • A tuck and pin style is simply when you tuck sections of your hair and pin them down. What I love about this technique is that you can very quickly create some really lovely shapes and designs. All that is needed is a comb for parting and bobby pins. This technique works best on stretched hair.
  • The downside to this style is that you will need to re-twist or stretch your hair each night and re-do the style in the morning. This means that you are manipulating your hair everyday which could increase the chance of breakage. Also, another issue I've discovered is that moisture is easily lost when my hair is stretched and left untwisted or braided. I guess this is because the outer cuticle layer is slightly lifted as a result of the hair strand being stretched into a straighter shape, this therefore allows for moisture to escape a little easier.

What protective styles do you like to wear? Which are best for moisture and length retention for your natural 4c hair. Leave you comments below!