2-Week Two-Strand Twists

My hair has been in twists for the past 2 weeks. Part of me is like “you go girl, way to protective style!”, and the other part is like “Ugh, two weeks without detangling or washing AND you workout daily…good luck on wash day”.

Two-week twists are good because…

  1. Low manipulation: I’m not combing or stressing my hair for two weeks. This is definitely good for my hair!
  2. Moisturizing: It’s fairly easy to moisturize my ends. I can spray my moisturizer (concoction of water, olive oil, aloe vera juice, sweet almond oil, and vegetable glycerin) directly on my ends, seal with an oil and sometimes a heavy cream, and I’m good to go.
  3. Convenient: This is a definite plus for my workouts since there is little to no styling time. I try to wear them down as long as they’re mildly stretched (just so I can moisturize nightly). To keep them stretched, I use a variation of a method I got from Naptural85 on YouTube where you stretch the twists across your head and secure them with pins or clips. I don’t do “twist by twist” as she does in her video only because I’ve usually installed so many, but grouping them together still gets the job done.
    When my twists start to get too frizzy to wear down, I simply pin them into an updo (I use this as my last resort because I prefer to be able to moisturize easily).

…but two-week twists are bad because…

  1. Two weeks of no washing: Some ladies can go 2-3 weeks without washing and their hair still thrives. My scalp will not allow it. For me to keep a healthy scalp, it’s best that I wash at least once per week (or a week and a half at the most). Plus the twists were in 2 weeks, so I had to rock the bomb twist out after, right? This added 3-4 more days to my no-wash streak. My scalp was not happy.
  2. Knotting and Loc’ing: For some reason, my twists are getting smaller and smaller, unintentionally :). This latest installment was my smallest yet, and I loved that even when I took them down, they still looked good. I also loved the volume that came with smaller twists. What I DIDN’T love were the knots resulting from leaving them in too long. I had some not-so-fun surprises waiting on me today during my wash session!

So going forward, I plan to install slightly larger twists (not too large of course – I’ll have to experiment). I will try to only leave them in for a week at the most. This should help battle the excess knotting since I won’t feel as much pressure to leave them in as long.

Until next time!

~TS

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Tried Curlformers…again

When I was transitioning, curlformers were my savior! Take a look!

Curlfomers on transitioning hair

Curlfomers on transitioning hair

Curlfomers on transitioning hair

Curlfomers on transitioning hair

Curlfomers on transitioning hair

Curlfomers on transitioning hair

Curlfomers on transitioning hair

Curlfomers on transitioning hair

So I figured I’d give them a try again after 7 months of being 100% natural. I’d heard good and bad stories about curlformers on natural hair. For some, the results were beautiful, but for others, the curls never happened. So I wanted to know how it would work for me.

Yea, so it wasn’t a complete failure (meaning the curls actually happened), but it was definitely DIFFERENT. The actual set came out okay.

Curlfomers on natural hair

Curlfomers on natural hair

It’s when I tried to separate the curls that everything fell apart…literally. I don’t have a picture because I was frustrated and running late lol, but I will say after separating (and I was careful!), it looked like I had just woken up and did nothing to my hair. So I went to what I knew :).

curlformers pulled back into an afro puff

curlformers pulled back into an afro puff

So see, it wasn’t a complete failure, but definitely wasn’t what I was expecting.

Random side note/ramble: I do have to give a shout out to As I Am Twist Defining Cream. Between that and the smoothing nature of the curlformers, my hair felt so smooth that I thought someone slipped me a relaxer while I was sleeping :).

As I am pic

I’m talking very little frizz, which meant a lot because over the past couple of weeks my hair was starting to feel mushy or “spongey”. I’m thinking it was because of over-moisturizing (and not balancing it with protein). I added Aphogee 2-Minute Keratin Reconstructor back to my regimen (co-washing), and my hair is feeling normal again and is able to hold styles better.

I’ve rambled enough 🙂

~TS

My hair’s been busy

Alright, I am probably the most boring when it comes to styling hair. I just really am not that creative, and I don’t have the patience. It was the same story when I was relaxed. I wore my hair either in a wrap, ponytail or bun. That’s it. So, I’m not too surprised, but I have recently noticed I’ve been trying new things lately. So I wanted to share the styles that worked 🙂 Enjoy!

All twisted out!

Twist out

Twist out

twist out (more stretched)

twist out (more stretched)

twist out (more stretched)

twist out (more stretched)

twist out (more stretched)

twist out (more stretched)

twist out (hair is a bit more stretched)

twist out (hair is a bit more stretched)

Flat twist out gone wrong lol

Flat twist out gone wrong lol

flat twist out (separated my hair for volume)

same flat twist out (separated my hair for volume)

We be bunnin! (these are actually faux buns :). A glorified afro puff per say…I just used several pins to make it look more like a bun).

side bun

side bun

side bun

side bun

side bun

side bun

Back of side bun

Back of side bun

 

high bun

high bun

high bun

high bun

bun to the back

bun to the back

Just twisted! (honestly, after all that hard work, my hair deserved a much needed break!)

two strand twists

two strand twists

two strand twists

two strand twists

two strand twists

two strand twists

two strand twists

two strand twists

two strand twists

two strand twists

 

You may be underwhelmed, but for me this was a lot of change within the past month or so :).

Cheers,

TS

6 months since “big chop”

Just wanted to document 6 months of growth. I chopped after transitioning for 11 months. I also trimmed my ends twice since I chopped. Enjoy!

“Big chop” Early Aug. 2012

IMG_1517

Day after big chop…flat twist out

IMG_1575

8/8/12 – I believe this was after I trim my ends…I cut off at least an inch or so (I still struggle with understanding what healthy natural ends look like!)

8/8/13

8/8/12

6 months later…

IMG_2036_2

2/5/13 – Right after a wash, so may be a bit more stretched than usual…lOOK AT THAT SHRINKAGE!! lol

IMG_2039 IMG_2037

Sorry for the rough photos lol 🙂

Also, favorites styles along the way…

This actually wasn't styled...I was about to wash my hair

This actually wasn’t styled…I was about to wash my hair

Two large flat twists

Two large flat twists

IMG_2022

twist out, not separated all the way

twist out, not separated all the way

Night before I had two large flat twist going around my head...i just took them out and fluffed

Night before I had two large flat twist going around my head…i just took them out and fluffed

still my favorite...flat twist out

still my favorite…flat twist out

IMG_1943

twist out pulled back into a puff

twist out pulled back into a puff

Hope you enjoyed…til next time!

~TS

Versatility

I’m going to keep this one short. One of the many reasons why I’m transitioning from relaxed to natural is versatility. You can do so much with natural hair. I’ve seen several blog posts and YouTube tutorials on how to do several amazing styles. Some are really creative, and original. Others are simple twists on traditional styles. So I feel like it’s time for me to pay homage to versatility…in my own simple way 🙂

Because of the two textures and my limited styling ability (okay, mainly my limited styling ability lol), I do the same exact style at night before I go to bed. I make about 9 flat twists, curl the ends with rollers, then hit the sack. In the mornings I wake up, untwist and go. But every morning, my hair looks a little different! It’s really kind of amazing. I feel like I should thank my hair for making me look like I’m trying out different styles on purpose 🙂 Take a look! (again, same exact style, just fluffed different ways).

Mar. 22

Apr. 17 (morning)

Apr. 17 (afternoon)

Apr. 18

Apr. 21

So here’s to the wonderful versatility of natural hair! Journey on 🙂

~TS

Can Natural Styles be Elegant?

I know natural styles can be elegant. I believe they can be whatever you want them to be. It’s the beauty of natural hair, versatility. But I didn’t always think this way. It took time for me to see the beauty in natural hair, partly because I hadn’t been exposed to much. Not many people wore their natural hair where I’m from (relatively small town in the midwest). I’ve moved away from home and since then have been exposed to different things in various towns and cities, but many people in my hometown (including my family) have not, so the old mindset of natural=nappy remains.

So here I am, back home for a bridal shower, and I get some looks, but nothing major. A few people comment (positively) on my hair. I visit my grandmother later and she asks how I’m going to wear my hair for the wedding. I tell her I’m checking out a few natural salons in Chicago to see what they recommend because I have no clue what to do with my hair. I also mentioned a conversation I had with my best friend (bride-to-be also natural) last night where she loved my current go-to hairstyle (flat twist out) and said it would be fine if I wore it that way for the wedding. My grandma is like “oh no, you need to get it done!” Lol. I’m thinking, but my hair IS done! She began to explain that she means professionally, not the fact that natural can’t look “done”, but I had already been discouraged.

The conversation definitely should not have bothered me, but it did. I know not everyone will like my styles. If I’m being completely honest with myself, it took me some time to like my styles. But I love them now. When I got dressed for the bridal shower this morning, I looked at myself in the mirror and thought “you are rockin this hair!”, now I’m looking at the same exact style like “is this really cute, or is it a mess? (which is why there are no pictures tonight, haha. No seriously, I’ll upload them later)

It’s amazing how one conversation can attack your confidence…if you allow it. I allowed it for a moment. But even as I write, I feel my confidence being restored. Because as I mentioned in an earlier post this journey from relaxed to natural is about so much more than hair. It’s about being confident and loving the skin I’m in. It’s about being who I want to be, not what others think I should be. There will be challenges with this, because it’s uncomfortable if this is not how you’re used to being, but it’s still achievable.

With that said, and getting to what this post was originally going to be about 🙂 I’m in search of cute, natural styles for a wedding. I’m very nervous about going to a stylist because I had such bad experiences when I would go for a relaxer. It seems impossible to find one who listens to you, and I’ve been putting too much effort into my hair for someone to screw me over in a matter of hours. But I’m going to give it a shot (currently looking at Chatto Salon in Chicago, IL). I just have no clue what style to try. I’m hesitant to try weaves since I’ve never been one for weaves (just personal taste, nothing deep). I’ve checked out a few styles and I guess I’m drawn to twists outs, twist up-dos, etc. so I suppose I will start there.

What natural styles have you rocked at formal events?
What’s been your experience with natural salons?

~TS