My larger two-strand twists worked out (surprisingly!)

A couple of weeks ago I decided to take a break from the smaller two-strand twists for 2 reasons, 1. they take me too long to install and I feel obligated to leave them in for at least two weeks 2. leaving them in for two weeks leaves my hair extremely tangled.

The problem is that I LOVE the twist-out with ,y smaller twists, so this is why I was a little concerned with installing the larger twists. But…this is a journey, so I had to try it :).

What I loved

  1. These babies cut my styling time in half! HUGE win!
  2. I loved the texture of the larger twists. It’s not like the texture was different than the smaller twists, but I could see the texture more. I feel like it made my style pop a little more.

What I didn’t like

  1. I definitely missed wearing the twists down. That’s one of the things I love about the smaller twists. I just didn’t feel comfortable wearing the larger twists down, so I kept them pinned.
  2. The twist-out took some work. For my smaller twists, I could just take the twists out and go about my day, but my larger twist-out didn’t fall as naturally (it was a little more work). I ended up wearing more pinned styles for the first couple of days.
  3. I can’t say I saw a huge difference in tangles. I think between the smaller twists and larger twists there isn’t a noteworthy difference. I noticed fewer tangles while taking the twists out, but all of the manipulating for my twist-out caused more tangles.

One other note, I tried the pineapple method again. The ponytail wasn’t as tight as the picture below, but you get the idea :). I found that my old “pull back and sleep in a satin bonnet” method didn’t work for the larger twist-out because I had to work harder for the volume (at least initially).

Twist out on larger two strand twists Day 4

Overall, I liked the look much more than I expected and plan to stick with the larger twists for a while.

~TS

My 2014 Hair Goals

It’s still the beginning of the year, so it’s not too late for me to make my 2014 hair goals! I push myself to set goals because it gives me focus throughout the year. Setting goals really helped me while transitioning. For example, since I risked a lot of breakage from managing two textures, my primary hair goal for 2012 was to minimize breakage.

Why focus on 1-2 goals?

Of course everyone wants longer hair, stronger hair, less breakage, more elasticity, and the list goes on. But I’m a firm believer that focusing on 1-2 goals increases your chance of achieving them. It’s hard to track the results of your hair goals when you’re focused on so many.  Plus, focusing on 1-2 goals let’s you dive deeper and lay out action plans to help you get to where you need to go. Using my 2012 example above, I achieved my goals through learning about protein treatments (and balancing them with moisturizing) and protective styling. So below are my 2014 hair goals and my action plans!

2014 Hair Goal (1): Minimize breakage (resulting from heat damage)

My hair suffered heat damage from my wedding hair trial, and as a result I find myself working with two textures again. This happened Sept 2013, so the majority of my texture is a looser curl with weaker strands, but my new growth is my extremely tight 4c curl. So you can imagine detangling across the two textures can be a hassle (which leads me to my 2nd goal below).

Action plan for minimizing breakage:

  • Weekly protein treatments – I’m currently using Aphoggee 2 Minute Keratin Reconstructor, but considering exploring other options (let me know any suggestions you have!)
  • Daily moisturizing – I still use a mixture of 1/2 water and 1/2 sum of olive oil, sweet almond oil, aloe vera juice, and vegetable glycerin). It’s all in a small spray bottle that I use nightly before sealing with my Hot 6 Oil and sometimes also adding Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing smoothing (or a similar heavy cream)
  • Protective styling – Two-strand twists are my go-to, but I am looking to expand this year. Looking for quicker protective styling that doesn’t take me hours at a time!

Less of this…

More of this…

2014 Hair Goals (2): Minimize tangles, especially where my new growth meets my heat damaged hair

With the heat damage mentioned above, my hair has some stubborn tangles near the root where my two textures meet.

Action plan for minimizing tangles:

  • Stretched hair – A huge part of this for me is changing the way I allow my hair to air dry. Right now it air dries in big twists I wear when washing, but I’m considering a flat twist/two-strand twist combo that will keep my roots stretched more. More on this later.
  • Patient detangling sessions – I had a lot more patience when I was transitioning, but detangling got a little easier when I became fully natural so I lost a lot of that patience :). I’m going back to only washing my hair on Saturdays or Sundays, so I can really take the time I need to get the job done in a damage-less way.

By December 2014, I will hopefully have some length to show for my new strategy!

Cheers 🙂

~TS

Four Benefits of the Two Strand Twist

For the first time in over a year, I finally feel like I have a true protective style that I can wear the entire week.

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve put in small two-strand twists (not mini, but they’re getting smaller and smaller!). I pin them back and “secure” with a bear claw clip. I wear this throughout the entire work week (~5 days), then on Saturday I’ll rock a twist out for a few days before I start the process over again. To keep my hair moisturized during the week, I mist my hands with water and lightly pat my hair, then I do the same with oil. By Friday, I usually add a cream to the moisturizing mix since I know I’ll be wearing a twist out soon. It’s all fairly simple.

Benefits

1. Quick and easy (even for me!). Although the first time I tried it, it took me 4 hours somehow lol. Last week, it only took me 2 ½. Maybe I can do it even quicker tonight J.

2. Less breakage during the week. There is low/no manipulation, and my ends are completely protected, so I’m not seeing as many stray hairs. Breakage has definitely been a concern lately, so this has made me very happy.

3. Moisturized hair. My twist outs are so soft by the time the weekend rolls around. My hair feels moisturized and has a shine.

4. Defined curls. I’ve found that leaving smaller twists in for more than 3 days results in really defined curls. So far, I can only make them last one day lol, but it is a fierce day 1!

I haven’t experienced many frustrations with two strand twists. I don’t get bored with wearing the same style every day. I actually prefer it! I also don’t think my hair has knotted or tangled any more than when my hair is out. If anything, I feel like I have fewer knots, or the knots are more easily untangled. The strands seem to slide past each other with more ease. This is likely because my hair is not as dry, but I will be sure to pay attention tonight.

What’s your favorite protective style?

~TS

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