So I Tried A Straw Set…

Is it just me or on youtube, quite a few vloggers go “oh, this is my first time trying this style.” And then they go on to execute it perfectly. *mental side-eye.* Haha. Don’t mind me, I’m just hating. I’d LOVE to join the club of people that get styles right on the very first attempt! But for now, I’m still outside. 😦

The hair journey, like life, has got its ups and downs. I’m learning, so I’m not going to only share the good stuff. You’re going to get it all, the good, the bad, the ugly. Feel free to give suggestions, tell me how I could be better or succeed. Help me be great! Please share your tips with me! Thank you in advance 🙂

STRAW SET a.k.a. STRAW CURLS

What You Need

Got this pack of straws for 40 Naira.

Got this pack of straws for 40 Naira.

  1. Drinking straws
  2. Bobby pins
  3. A pair of scissors

You like it already, don’t you? Very pocket friendly but I assure you, it will EAT your time.

How I Prepped My Hair

It’s up to you to decide if you want to style wet or damp or dry.

I had deep conditioned earlier in the day, moisturised (with a mix of a leave-in and a really soft hold gel) and sealed and my hair was in the usual chunky twists. Done with my chores for the night, I spritzed my hair section by section with water and got to work.

Steps

I wish I made a video and took more photos, but I was too busy struggling with my hands and hair and the lighting at that time wasn’t great anyway.

Here’s this really great video tutorial by vlogger, backsyncfan.

You can see more about straw sets here, but let me just summarise real quick:

1. Get your straws and bobby pins ready and close to you. My hair isn’t long, and I had these long straws, so I cut them in half.

2. Carve out a small section of hair. Make sure it’s detangled. You can do this with your wide toothed comb or a brush. Stretch it sha. It’s also good to divide your hair into big sections, as big as you can manage and start taking your small sections from there.

3. Wrap the section around a straw, starting with the ends of your hair. It’s good to tuck them in so they don’t unravel.

4. When you get to the end of your wrapping, get your bobby pin and secure straw very tightly- the pin will be inside the straw and also in your roots, against scalp.

5. Repeat till hair is all done.

6. If straws are still too long, trim them. Be careful not to cut your hair, or nick your fingers!

7. Cover hair. Better you do this with a big satin or silk scarf, OR, cover with your bonnet first and then wrap any scarf around. The scarf holds it together better than your bonnet will.

I was already dozing.

NEEEED. SLEEEEEEP.

8. Leave to set. I slept with the straw set overnight. It was surprisingly comfortable to sleep in.

9. Next day, gently unravel. Carry go!

I stood infront of my bathroom mirror for over 3 hours. I was really sleepy and really tired, but I managed to get about 50 straws in.DSC07030

I knew it wouldn’t turn out as expected, but it didn’t stop me from silently threatening my hair to magically fix up. 3 hours+ is no joke!!

Me the next morning. ( ._.)

haha. just look.

x_x

What I think I did wrong

1. I think I should have tried to hold the straws in a vertical position as I wrapped, because this was the look I was actually going for.

Like this.

Like this. Source

2. I think I should have cut my hair in much smaller sections.

3. I didn’t hold the hair with the bobby pins tight enough. It only occurred to me in the final twists that the right way to do it would be to pin the straws firmly into my roots for better hold. Don’t ask how I was doing it before then because I truly don’t know!

So, what did I do?

what to do, what to do, what to do?

what to do, what to do, what to do?

I laughed at myself first and proceeded to comb the “curls” out in most places. Then with two hair combs and 2 bobby pins, I held my hair up in some kind of- what, puff? Also, Ruby Woo (any good red lippie really) always helps me in times of doubt!

DSC07089 DSC07096 DSC07087 DSC07078

Straw curls look like sleek dreadlocks at best, and at the worst I guess they can look like freeform dreadlocks. Three people asked me if I was loc’ing my hair, haha. I see this as a bright side. #winning

locks! ^_^

locks! ^_^

Oh yes, this time, imperfect fro made it past the front door! She was with me running my errands, and at a fancy party later Friday evening. In this round, AB- 1. World- 0. *Rozay grunt!* ^_^

I will try a straw set again, just to prove it to myself that I can do this so-called simple style! The next time I do, I’ll be wide awake and alert, not sleepy, and I’ll try not to make the same mistakes again. Hopefully, this would translate to sleek results!

So, booskis. Have you ever tried a straw set? Tell me about it! As I said, your suggestions are very welcome!

Till next time,

Love,

AB

x

DIY: How to make Coconut milk and Extra Virgin Coconut oil.

Bonjour everyone!!

Last weekend, my aspiring mixtress took over, and I made ATTEMPTED TO MAKE Coconut Oil for the first time. Everything was going well until I was almost done. I tweeted about my progress and a few people asked about my method. The title of this post really should be- “Tweeted too soon.” Insert lone tear. 😦

In this post, I’m setting out a method/recipe and I’ll also be showing you my progress, and telling you where I failed. If you try, I hope you do better than I did! If you have a few hints for us aspiring Coconut oil makers, please holler in the comments.

As a true champion, I refuse to accept defeat but time has become a little more precious. Can’t be blending coconuts just to prove a point. When I finally try again and succeed, I’ll be back! ^.^

Aaaaaaanyway, here’s how:

What You Need:

Coconuts (I used 3)

Knife or grater

Food processor, blender

Clean cloth

Clear containers

STEPS

COCONUT MILK

  1. Break your coconuts and extract the meat. You could read about how to do this here. I had someone break mine for me.

    Coconuts!

    Coconuts!

  2. Break it up. You could grate your coconut meat- or you could do what I did, chop it into pieces.

    Chop chop

    Chop chop

  3. If you’re grating, you can skip this step. Soak your chopped coconut in hot water for 15 minutes, to soften the membrane.

    Soak in hot water for 15 minutes

    Soak in hot water for 15 minutes

  4. Blend the coconut bits, with a little water of course. Don’t break your (mama’s) blender. [If you’ve got a Food Processor, put your coconut bits in it before transferring to the blender.]
    Blending time. Be easy.

    Blending time. Be easy.

    You’re left with coconut puree.

  5. Time to squeeze.
    The sieve wasn't enough. I had to squeeze the pulp with my hands- next time, I'll be using a clean cloth to strain.

    The sieve wasn’t a great idea. I had to squeeze the pulp with my hands- to get more milk out, and I got little bits in my milk. Next time, I’ll be using a clean cloth to strain.

    In the photo, you see that I began with a sieve. Bad idea (if the coconut milk is going anywhere near your hair that is) It’s better to get a clean cloth- maybe a new handkerchief or a pillowcase. Put the coconut puree in and squeeze. This is the best way to ensure you get the milk out, with no bits.

  6. Now, you have Coconut milk. If that’s all you want, you can stop here. If you’re interested in making coconut oil, proceed.

    L- Coconut milk R- the residue

    L- Coconut milk R- the residue

COCONUT MILK TO COCONUT OIL

  1. Pour your Coconut milk in a clear container and place in the fridge for like an hour
  2. After an hour or two, you’ll observe two layers.

    Layers of coconut milk: Top layer- Full coconut cream Bottom layer- Skim milk.

    Layers of coconut milk: Top layer- Full coconut cream Bottom layer- Skim milk.

  3. The bottom layer is the watery skim milk, but the top layer is thick and creamy. This is the full cream part of your coconut milk, the richest bit.
  4. Scoop the top layer (coconut cream) out, into another clear container.

    Coconut cream

    Coconut cream

  5. You can still use the bottom layer to cook or do anything you want. If you want some of the rich cream, now is the time to take that out.
  6. Set the coconut cream on a warm-ish surface. Not under direct heat, but somehow close to it, like beside your cooking top or on top of your fridge. Leave it there for 24-48 hours. Covered of course.
  7. Again, you have 2 layers. The top layer is the curd, the fermented cream. The bottom layer is what you want, the oil.

    On top of the fridge. Top Layer- fermented curd. Bottom layer- oil

    On top of the fridge. Top Layer- fermented curd. Bottom layer- oil

  8. Put the container in the fridge so that the layers can set.
  9. Scoop, or scrape off the now semi-solid layer of curd.

    As I didn’t succeed at this point, here’s this Image from WikiHow showing you what it should have been like.

  10. Voila. Your very own extra virgin coconut oil. At room temperature, it will be liquid again. 😀

Between Step 8 and Step 9, I got into trouble. After 24 hours, the layers looked pretty separated to me so I put it the bowl in the fridge to set and I guess I left it in for too long. When I brought it out, I didn’t have a semi-solid layer of curd. I had pretty solid matter in my bowl. I microwaved for 1 minute ( ._.) and was able to lift the thick layer of curd. However, I noticed the base of the bowl was like a bed of coconut bits. Because I didn’t scoop the curd in the most delicate manner, I had a bit left, mixed in with what should have been my coconut oil. I put it in the fridge again to see if it could re-separate again but after hoursss, I didn’t have solids again but I just had this mix of (Again, what I imagine was oil) and floating curd. It was NOT pretty so I spared you guys the hardship of a photo of my mess. 😦

There are other ways to make Coconut oil which require heat after step 4. For one of them, you could read how-to here.  Maybe another day I’ll try this too.

To the person wishing to try, here’s a final note from the good people of the interwebs: As an amateur, you might find that you still have traces of curd in your oil. This can cause the oil to go “bad”, smell funky or not last as long as it should. You might want to make coconut oil in small amounts until you perfect your moves.

And yes, you can also make Coconut oil from store-bought tinned Coconut milk but how cost effective is that?

*Thanks to Renegade Kitchen and Wiki-how for showing me how!

Till next time,

AB

x

P.S. Don’t just throw away all your Coconut residue. Google for great food ideas. I saved my residue, and maybe in later posts, I’ll show you how I put mine to good use.