Mini-Twists: Fight The Frizz!

Hello beautifuls!

What’s good with you & your tresses?

I take my mini-twists down tonight. It has been a very good run, 5 weeks and two days. My 7 year old cousin called me out on Easter Sunday for wearing the same hair for as long as he could recently remember. I asked him to please sponsor my next hair and he really said he would if he could, LOL

This is a big deal for me because last year, I would not have thought this possible. I called mini-twists my Love-Hate Thing. I make some very nice twists if I do say so myself, so I enjoy marveling at my handwork when I’m done and my arms are protesting. I really wasn’t comfortable with wearing mini-twists because:
1. I don’t think wearing them at this present length does anything for my shape of face.
2. The frizz!! I know frizz is a big part of the natural life and while I do embrace it sometimes, it’s annoying to put a huge effort in styling and have your hair frizzing so soon after.

Before this, the longest I’d been able to wear mini-twists was 2 and a half weeks, let’s approximate to say 3. And even then, I wasn’t so happy about it. I felt like I needed to compensate with makeup.

This time around though, I fell in love LIKE with my twists. I still maintain that this length isn’t doing anything for my face shape, but they have kept well and aged well.

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Day 1. Almost done.

Week 3

Week 3

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Week 5

Week 5

I was determined to wear my twists for four weeks with no excuses, in a minimal-frizz condition that I would be comfortable rocking. If you’d like this too, here’s how:

1. Start on Clean Hair.

I always style on clean hair. Always always. Because if I don’t, I feel like my hair is already stale. Plus, my scalp WILL itch and I’d be tempted to wash and I did not want to give myself any excuses. At all.

2. Dry Stretched Hair For The Win!

I prefer to style when my hair is dry. Shrinkage is inevitable but I try to stretch my luck anyway. Also, with curly styles I’ve found that I have less frizz when I style dry, so I decided to apply that to my twists as well. I washed my hair, moisturised & sealed and put it in about 10 chunky twists. When the hair was completely dry the next day, I began to twist.

3. Sections & Small Twists. 

I took down one chunky twist, twisted all the hair from that, and moved on to the next. I sectioned my hair slightly smaller than usual, and twisted that way.

4. Start With a Braid. 

Typically, I like to start twists as twists. If I go to a salon and the stylist starts twists (with extensions) as a braid, I’m judging her. And I will complain. Invisible root method please. However, with twists with my own hair, the base easily gets puffy, even if I start my twists very tightly. So this time, I decided to start by braiding. Because it’s my hair and not extensions, except you stare at my scalp (and how would you do that?) you won’t see the braided base. I didn’t do it for long, just enough to keep the twists anchored. I think they’re the reason my roots stayed intact for longer.

5. Satin Bonnet DO & DON’T

I covered my twists at night with my satin bonnet. However, in the day time, when I was home, I kept it off. Just like wearing a hair net, if you wear a satin bonnet all day, for a few days, your scalp will protest and start to stank. Yes. Let it breathe!

6. Keep Your Hands To Yourself!

Self explanatory right? Too much touch-touch = frizz

7. Abstain from Moisture

LOL did you just pause to give me the side-eye? I did not spritz my hair with water at all. To go into the shower, I always wore a shower cap. I prevented my hair from enjoying the nice juicy steam, but I believe it was for a good cause. A few times in the last 2 weeks though, I used my lovely Shea Moisture Mousse to moisturise.

Why No Water?
Moisture keeps our hair supple and elastic, but when it comes to maintaining styles, it can be a frenemy. Moisture helps hair to be nice and soft and easy to manipulate, but it also brings frizz. Plus, I wasn’t wearing my hair loose, so elasticity wasn’t my concern.

To make up for this, I will most definitely give my hair a super super super Washday tomorrow. Starting with an overnight pre-poo with Coconut Oil.

8. Secure Your Ends With a Twirl!

To keep the ends of my twists from unraveling, I always twirl them around my finger like a finger coil. It’s a nice finish, and serves its purpose. For this, may dab a little more product (a pomade or butter) to my ends.

9. Scalp Massages!

After 5 weeks guys, my hair doesn’t smell bad! It’s odourless. Last week, I tried cleaning my scalp with witch hazel astringent on cotton wool & the wool didn’t return dirty. It was like cleaning my make-up free face at the end of the day. Just a liiiiittle bit dirty. How was I able to keep my scalp relatively clean? Scalp massages. I did them frequently with castor oil. A few times each week just because, and also for when it was really hot and sweaty & my scalp itched. I simply poured a little oil into the centre of my palm, and greased my fingertips with it. Then I rubbed it on my scalp very seriously with fingertips only. No nails!

When I was done massaging, I passed my oiled hands over my hair for shine. Castor oil is a humectant so I’d like to think it helped me absorb a little moisture.

10. Mental Preparation, VERY Key. 

This should have been the first thing I said. Nothing I tried with these twists was new to me but I wasn’t inspired to apply myself until I was determined to stop complaining and see the mini-twists through this time. What’s the point of protective styling or putting all this effort into twisting if you take down your style after a week or two?

So that’s all from me guys. How do YOU fight frizz? What are you struggling with? What have you recently overcome? Any more questions about these twists, feel free to ask! 🙂

Love,

AB,

xx

Love-Hate Thing: Mini Twists

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Ah. Mini twists.

In the last two, three weeks I’ve asked myself- Am I really about this life, this mini-twist life?

I just learnt to twist properly this year so, I’m still very excited about the fact that the fact that my hands can make these salon standard twists. Love.

I know this is unrealistic but, I like my hair looking like Day 1 Hair all the time. Ko poss. Impossicant. Not possible. And by day 3, I’m hating them kind of over my twists, not wanting to be seen with them. ( ._.) To my eyes, they look rough but then I reassure myself that to other people’s eyes, they look fine.

Day 5 hair.

Day 5 hair.

More often than not, I go about makeup free. But at this length, I feel like I need makeup. Something to say, no I’m not a kid- yes, my hair is deliberate! Compensating? It be like that sometimes.

Mini-twists are great for when you just don’t have the time and can’t be bothered to do your hair. I have the time, but man, I’m not in the mood to fuss over my fro. Very low maintenance! Mini twists are a very protective style, and make for super defined twist outs that last when you untwist them after some days. Like my twist out yesterday was SO bomb!

My twist out was 7 hours old in this picture. Look at that definition!

Loosened my twists after a week. My twist out was 7 hours old in this picture. High Definition!

I’m whining about it now, but I know that when I wash my hair at the end of the week, there’s a 90% chance that I’ll put my hair back in twists. LOL.

Oh well.

As I said, it’s a love-hate thing.

Over to you. What’s your love-hate thing?

Love,

AB,

xx

Crochet Braids Again

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Hellurrrr guys!

Just a quick hair update. I’m wearing crochet braids again. This time, I used 2 packs of Noble Afro Kinky (or was it Afro Twist?) Braid. The hair cost me 750 naira a pack at Marian Market.

My ever helpful roommate F did my cornrows and I attached the hair myself, with the aid of a big bobby pin. It took me 3 episodes of Once Upon A Time,that is, about 2 hours to do my crochet braiding. Continue reading

Take The Poll: How Do You Like To Stretch Your Hair?

Shrinkage! #NaturalHair

Source: Pinterest

Shrinkage is a natural feature of kinky-curly-coily hair, but with shrinkage usually comes more knots and tangles than we’d like.

As my hair started inching out of the TWA stage, it became really important to stretch after a wash.

What’s your favourite method of stretching your natural hair after a wash? You can choose multiple answers if you favour more than one! Please answer the poll, and you could tell us why your fave is your fave in the comments!

Happy Friday!

Love,

AB

xx

Styling Adventures: Crochet Braid Extensions

Hey guys!

How is the going going?

On Saturday I typed up a long ass tirade about how Protective styling has been a drag, but now that I think about it today, it’s only February the 17th. Keep calm AB! You drama queen, you. I blame my hormones ( ._.)

Yes, I’ve had some challenges, but things are looking up. At the risk of getting too comfortable or lazy about styling again, I am happy to announce that I may have found my new default style!

See, I was really upset that I had to take out my braids so soon, so I desperately trolled the internet for a magic trick, any secret that would let me braid in peace and ensure my kinks don’t wiggle their way out. And that’s how I found out about the wonder of crocheting!

What is Crochet Braiding?

Crochet Braiding or Crocheting in hair speak is basically a technique of installing extensions (with braiding hair or weave) that requires you to cornrow your hair (you can flat twist too but it may not last as long), and then attach your extensions directly to the cornrows, by braiding. Stay with me now…

It’s like fixing your braids (or weave, but in this case, no thread or glue is needed). Yes. Don’t go, Hang in there.

The benefits?

Less pressure on your hair, it’s much easier to access your scalp and moisturise, and it’s definitely more natural looking! There’ll be more about crocheting on the blog in the near future, because I’m SO ready to go in!!

Right now, I’m wearing hair inspired by Jouelzy. You know “pick and drop”? That’s really what I have on now, only crocheted.

I got my hair done by very talented nashura hair stylist NatMane, but crocheting is actually super easy, you could totally try it on your own! NatMane isn’t resident in my city though *sob, sob*, so the next time I do this, I’ll be doing this myself.

This is usually done with a latch hook, but as we had none, she improvised with a bobby pin, with the aid of this Jouelzy tutorial I showed her. (Jouelzy’s tutorials are the bestest!!) You could also use improvise with a beader, but I’m sure you’re more likely to have a good old bobby pin. 🙂

What you need:

A bobby pin. Yes, just one.

Kinky extensions (I used Supreme Royal Silk Afro Twist Braid, the same old ones I used for my Havana twists)

How-To:

Watch this quick Jouelzy tutorial and you’ll be feeling like Superwoman.

And that’s really it, friends. Easy peasy. I didn’t leave any hair out, but you totally can, if you feel like, if your hair is long enough.

As you can now see, this is a very simple style, but it was complicated by one thing- the extensions!

Wahala and Crisis Management

Before then, I didn’t realise that Supreme extensions are so bluddy stiff! I noticed when I was prepping them for my Havana twists but it didn’t really register. SO SO stubborn a material. Ha!

This wasn’t actually the original plan. I planned to have Marley/Havana twists crocheted like fellow wordpresser NaturalHairFanatic has here, but the hair was much too coarse, so stiff and so bulky, we could only crochet one single strand at a time. The end result? Crazy big hair. Which I love, but given the inflexibility of the extensions may have been too much of a burden.

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what would you do with this much hair?

So the only thing left to do was to do skinny loose twists with the crocheted single strands. NatMane had another appointment and I had things to do myself, so we just pulled out some of the braiding hair, and then she styled the rest.

Still. The hair wasn’t ready to be styled as it was.

Oh I forgot to mention that to work with the hair at all, before it was crocheted, NatMane had to spray it with a water and oil mixture to soften it a bit. By the time we were ready to style, the softening effect of the water-oil spritz was already gone. So, she had a bright idea. She attacked the hair in sections with Aloe Vera Gel (Fruit of The Earth), and very firm finger detangling. The hair was weighed down a bit by this and it was pliable enough to style.

Styled by NatMane!

After the battle was won, Styled by NatMane!

In the past week, I have done the gel and finger-detangling thing 3 times and I was left with like a handful each time. I wonder what will be left after 3 more weeks, we’ll see.

Anyhoooo. I’m enjoying my new big hair very much. Getting compliments left, right, centre. X_X LOL. To think that this is a super easy, and relatively cheap look to achieve! No fancy kinky weave from Mongolia or anywhere.

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On my way to a wedding on Valentine's Day

On my way to a wedding on Valentine’s Day

Is this an updo? Southern bun, work-formal and stuff

Is this an updo? Southern bun, work-formal and stuff

And I love how it blends in perfectly with my own hair!

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No need to struggle with Edge Control or anything. Love it!!

If you’re going to do this, to save you the stress, I strongly advise you find softer kinky extensions than Supreme Royal Silk. I hear Noble Dreadlock is softer, but I’m yet to try. If you’ve tried and tested any brands of soft kinky braiding hair, please be a darling and leave me a comment, tell me!

Okay luvvies! That’s all for now.

Till next post,

Love,

AB

Xx

P.S. If you’re in Abuja and you want your hair styled, make a date with NatMane at Lumo Naturals Salon. Tweet her: @NaturalMane. Contact deets for Lumo Naturals are in the Where To Find Directory. For more of NatMane’s handiwork, see this post, and also visit her blog Deepbrown & Kinks!!