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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Heat Damaged, but not broken (well, a little)

***Sorry in advance for the long post. I needed to vent!*** And spoiler alert: I’m a little dramatic 🙂

So, after 2 years of taking great care of my hair and seeing decent length retention (on a strict no-direct heat regimen), I finally let a professional stylist touch my strands. I procrastinated and fought as long as I could, but the fact was I was getting married in November ’13 and I did not want to do it myself on my wedding day.

I did my research. I searched online, read reviews and ended scheduled a consultation with a stylist known for taking care of natural hair. I met a girl at a Curly Nikki meet-up with healthy-looking natural hair that recommended him from personal experience, so I trusted her.

My vision was simple, or so I thought. I wanted a low bun with my natural texture (willing to do a blow out if needed, but didn’t want a bone-straight style). Emphasis on my natural texture. I dreaded heat damage. Honestly, I’ve seen too many “gone wrong” videos. So I wanted my hair in its natural state.

Well, during the consultation he agreed with my vision, but when I arrived for the actual hair trial he said he needed to straighten my hair to trim my ends. I stressed that I didn’t want my hair straightened, especially since the style did not require it. He strongly suggested I get it straightened so he could trim, and I’ll be honest, I said “he’s the professional, maybe he knows what he’s talking about”. It’s a little sad how I immediately began to doubt my ability to take care of my hair even after seeing results.

So he flat ironed my hair. AFTER sitting under the blow dryer, and THEN blow drying my hair. Yep, there was heat damage involved (only a little though).

My curl pattern is just too tight, so the amount of heat it took to achieve his definition of straight, was too much for my hair to handle. Now the good news is, because my strands were so tightly coiled, the damage didn’t completely straighten my strands, but it definitely loosened my curl pattern…just when I was falling in love with my curl pattern 🙂

September 2013

September 2013 | Before trim

September 2013

September 2013 | Before trim

In addition to the heat damage, he trimmed what looked like a good 3 inches. I could be exaggerating…you be the judge. I’m not sure I’m convinced that I needed that much cut.

September 2013 | After trim

September 2013 | After trim

September 2013 | After trim

September 2013 | After trim

If I’m being completely real with myself, I was more hurt about the length loss than the heat damage (#shame). I mean, my feelings were really hurt. Not only would I have to learn to deal with a slightly looser texture (which made a big difference in how I styled my hair), but I also had to work with shorter hair (no more faux buns!). Not to mention I was worried about length retention now with the strands being weakened.

For that week, I used pin curls to add volume and provide that curled look.

September 2013

September 2013 | result of pin curls

September 2013

September 2013 | result of pin curls

Wearing my hair straight was cool for a few hours, but I quickly missed my texture. Plus I didn’t know what to do with my hair at night, thus the pin curls lol. I’m not knocking straight styles at all. I’ve just learned that I really love my big, curly styles, and I can’t wait until my original texture grows back…no matter how stubborn it is!

After all of my whining, it’s not the end of the world. Many women have experienced much worse (all about perspective right?). The benefit of the looser texture is that it is a little easier to manage, but my ends tangle more easily. I’ve definitely noticed a much higher amount of breakage, but I try not to let it discourage me. After all, mistakes will be made along the hair journey 🙂

Since then I’ve been baby’ing my hair quite a bit. I’ve been doing (almost) weekly protein treatments and making sure my hair is moisturized throughout the week. Of course, back to my no-direct heat regimen. Styling mainly consists of twists to protect my ends. When my hair is “out” it’s usually a twist out from the latest installment of twists (still very low maintenance).

November 2013

November 2013 | twists pinned up in back with bang

December 2013

December 2013

December 2013

December 2013

January 2013

January 2013 | twists pinned to a small side bun

December 2013 | Twist out

December 2013 | Twist out

January 2013 | Twist out

January 2013 | Twist out

It’s been about 4 months since the heat damage/trim, and I’ve gained some length back, but I’m looking forward to getting back to a healthy hair state!

Thanks for letting me vent! Actual wedding day hair pics coming soon. Here’s a hint…it was all worth it 🙂

~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

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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