Turn Up & Twist Out: How To Get VOLUME

I’m so excited to announce that NaturalSelectionBlog will be the Official Media Partner of a fabulous event coming up on May 4th in NYC: The Natural Aristocrat Tea! Hosted by the uber talented and creative stylist Jennifer Lord and Sabine’s Hallway Salon in Brooklyn, this event will invite naturalistas to dress in their best and enjoy a truly aristocratic haute hair affair. Over the next two weeks, I’ll be passing the blogger mic over to Jenni to help us get ready for the event—from hair tutorials to vintage shopping tips—so we can all get our vintage glam on POINT! Without further ado, our first styling tutorial!

Greetings ladies and gents! I’m natural hair stylist Jennifer Lord, CEO of Natural Hollywood, a platform designed to showcase natural hair with high fashion in our magazine, runway and art shows. This year Natural Hollywood is teaming up with Sabine’s Hallway Natural Hair Salon in Brooklyn to bring you The Natural Aristocratic Tea!

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Our first stop on this tour is NYC but we promise to bring it to a city near you. Our event includes a live natural hair art exhibit and fashion show as well as a live band and other performances. We will also be honoring the work of 3 women making positive contributions to their community. To help you get ready for #TNAT I will be doing a series of tutorials and tips perfect for #teatime! See you on May4th, 2014 for The Natural Aristocratic Tea, #pinkiesup.

Twist Out Tutorial

1.

Wash and condition your hair with a natural and organic shampoo. I use Aloe Vera from the Nature’s Gate line sold in Wholefoods Market. Comb through your hair while the conditioner is still in it using a large wide tooth comb. Section the hair into about 10 twists. In other words, while the conditioner is in your hair, grab medium sections, comb each out and double strand twist to the end. When finished, using warm water, rinse each twist out thoroughly. Squeeze the twist to make sure conditioner is completely washed out.

2.

Towel dry your hair with a t-shirt. Remove the majority of moisture.

3.

Spray in your choice of a natural, organic leave in conditioner (6-8 sprays. Oyin Handmade has several choices and they are in Wholefoods as well. Giovanni and Carol’s Daughter also have great options. Pick whichever one you like.

4.

Apply a dime sized to quarter sized amount of Argan oil to each twist. Massage in thoroughly.

5.

Make your own pomade with slightly melted raw shea butter, a mild hair gel like Giovanni from wholefoods, and olive oil from your local grocer (not virgin, just plain olive oil). For someone with shoulder length medium volume hair, your measurements should be as follows: 4 tablespoons of raw shea butter, 1 tablespoon of gel, and 1 tablespoon of the oil. Mix well! Increase the amount if you have longer hair and lessen it if you have shorter hair.

Don’t feel like creating your own chemistry lab? You can also purchase Nourish and Shine from Jane Carter Solutions, Shine and Define by Oyin Handmade, or Karen’s Body Beautiful Butter Love or Koils by Nature Butters.

6.

Starting from the nape of your neck, untwist your twists.

7.

Once the hair has been untwisted use your comb to create triangular parts for sections. Use safe cloth covered elastic bands to keep your sections in place. The parts should look like a color wheel with the angles coming to a point in the center.
To achieve a fuller twist, make parts bigger. About 8 – 12.

8.

Comb out 1 triangular section and apply your choice of pomade from root to tip. Massage in with fingers. Next apply a tiny bit of the organic gel or organic hair wax by Giovanni to the hair line. Using a 100% boar brush, start from your edges and brush hair to the central area of the section. Brush one final time and manipulate hair into a sectioned ponytail.

9.

Grab ponytail and separate remaining hair into two pieces. Twist the two pieces to the bottom also known as a double strand. Next, Bantu Knot the twist up. In other words, grab the twist and wrap it around itself until it creates a small knot. Make sure to twist smoothly and use control. Repeat until each section is done. Sit under a hair dryer for 1 to 1.5 hours or blow dry the hair holding the blow dryer at least 12 inches away for 15-20 minutes and wear the knots overnight.

10.

Finally untwist or take out each twist the next day or after the hair is completely dry. Make sure you are using your gentle hands and fingers. Too much rigor may lead to less than desired results. Using your fingers, open up the two strands again to create 4 strands.

11.

Over the course of the style, have fun creating different looks using pins and bands!

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Get the Part! A Side Part on your TWA that is….

One of the main issues I have (and hear from my readers) is that with a TWA there aren’t a lot of styling options. My first instinct is to say, “well, that’s the point.” But now after a few months of having my own crop, I totally understand the desire to spice a short ‘do up a bit.

Which is why I’ve decided to rock the side part. The side part inspiration came about when I saw Solange do it when she first did her big chop.

the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards

It appears however, that our dearest Miss Knowles cut her part into her hair and while cute, I was reluctant to make such a commitment.

So when I was getting my hair cut and styled last week, I hopped out of the chair and used my fingers and nails to sort of draw in a side part. It worked just okay, but the idea was there.

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The next day I decided to figure out how to get the part going REAL good.  After a few trials and errors, I finally achieved a part that will last for days on end, even through sleeping and second day hair! Here’s how I do it:

1. On freshly washed hair, apply your usual styling product. I’ve been liking gels.

2. Take a comb and place your part. Your hair will want just swallow that part right back up, so try to use the teeth of the comb to gently tame just the roots.

3. Once you have the part, lightly apply some firm hold gel. I’ve been really, really liking the new EDEN Bodyworks Control Edge Glaze. It’s all natural, dries clear, has an AWESOME hold and for $8.99—the price is right!

4. Once the gel is applied, take two duckbill clips and slide them along either side of the part.

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5. Using a blowdryer on medium heat with a nozzle attachment, lightly dry the roots along the part.

6. Carefully slide the clips out and VOILA! You’ve got a solid and straight side part!

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Get Perfect Curls with this Common Household….Appliance?

The folks over at Design Essentials are always coming up with innovative products and styles for natural hair, but I was really surprised to see this new style using VACUUM components to create perfect curls.

A vacuum! Yea, you heard me right! I don’t know about you, but when I heard that, I envisioned a Roomba scooting around on Lola. NOT a good look, but read on fearless readers—this actually sounds legit!

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Design Essentials® Master Stylist Deshonica Kerri came up with this styling technique that uses vacuum rings to set the hair.The final result is very similar to that of a rod set BUT by using these circular rings, it cuts the styling time by 50% because instead of using hundreds of rods, you can just use a few rings!!! How impressive is that!?

Wanna give it a whirl? Here’s how Design Essentials explains how to do it:

PREP

rings

The critical item needed for this style is rubber vacuum cleaner rings, found at any home goods store. If you want to dry hair using a hooded dryer or overnight, be sure to purchase enough rings to set the entire head. Deshonica calls this a “dry set,” meaning hair doesn’t have to be soaking wet to achieve. First, comb through hair to eliminate tangles. Dampen the hair with Design Essentials® Natural Twist & Set Setting Lotion. As you work through the hair, section off 2″ square partings to work with.

SET

set

Take a 2″ square section of hair comb through to ensure hair is detangled. Take ring and put hair between the ring, laying ring against the scalp. Split the section of hair into 2 subsections. Begin at the root of the subsection of hair and begin wrapping the hair around the vacuum ring in a spiral.

Deshonica notes that the number of times you wrap the hair around the ring will mimic the tightness of the resulting curl-more times equals a tighter curl, while less times and more space between the wraps equals a looser, more stretched-out curl. With the second subsection, begin repeating the process on the opposite side of the vacuum ring.

To prevent flyaways and frizzy ends, seal off the end with end papers. Another tip is once the hair has been wrapped around the ring, allowing it to hang down will provide more volume at the base. Flipping the ring up to lay against the scalp will tighten the base for more smoothness.

FINISH

finish

Before unwinding the hair from the vacuum ring, Deshonica coats hands with a mixture of Design Essentials® Nutriment Rx Creme Hairdress and Herbal Complex 4 Hair and Scalp treatment for moisture and conditioning. Begin unwrapping hair from the ring and separating into smaller subsections for fullness. The more times you separate the section, the more full the style will be. You can polish the look with Design Essentials® Diamonds Hair Sheen and Form Hair Spray for hold. Finishing products listed above may be purchased online or at local area salons. To identify local area salons or to purchase products online, visit www.DesignEssentials.com.

For those of you that are more VIDEO inclined, check out this instructional vid:

NothingBut The Basics: 2nd-3rd-4th-5th Day Hair! (+FINAL GIVEAWAY)

Sure it might be nice to get up in the morning and have the time to give yourself a fresh new style every day, but uh let’s be real: that’s just not happening.

Whether you wear a wash’n'go or twists, styling fresh is not only time consuming but also has the potential to be super damaging for your hair! The key then is to figure out how YOU, yes you, can rock 2nd Day hair.

Heck with the proper styling product and sleep routine, I’ve even gotten 9th day hair ! Here’s are my two keys for rocking 2nd (to 9th!) day hair:

1. Make sure you protect your hair when you’re sleeping. This doesn’t necessarily mean 3 hours of retwisting or rebraiding before bed, but use a satin sleep cap, scarf or pillow. Watch this video of my nighttime regimen to see how how I like sleep to preserve my curls!

2. When going for hair on the 2nd to 9th day, remember: THERE IS ALREADY STYLING PRODUCT IN YOUR HAIR. The key is that you need to reactivate it! How? With moisture! Check out this where I show ya how it’s done!

Pretty easy, huh?

Alright, now it’s time to get into our FINAL week of NothingBut Trivia. Here’s this week’s final question:

What are the top 3 reasons for breakage in natural hair, according to Nothing But’s resident expert Will Williams?

The answer can be found on NothingBut’s website.

the contest is now closed!

NothingBut

The Curl Clumping + Combing Conundrum

Yemi writes:

Hey Cassidy, I just watched your Wash and go vid and I’m curious: have your coils always clumped back up so easily after applying product? I didn’t comb my hair for a couple weeks and in that time my hair has clumped into teeny little pen spring coils which I have been defining in a wash and go. However, I’m worried about them being broken up when I finally detangle with a comb/brush. Is this something that becomes less of an issue when the coils have finally “set” i.e. not been broken up by combing for a while? Or is there a special technique I should be using to keep them clumped? I’ve been natural for eons but never knew my hair could do this until now so I’m at a loss for how to care for these coils! Thanks!

Why yes, yes indeed I do have this issue!  I have a naturally defined curl pattern made up of teeny weeny tiny coils made of zillions of fine strands.   IMG_9178 Part of the deal with keeping my fine coils healthy and happy is that I have to rid them of all the shed hairs on a regular basis.  A weekly detangling session with a wide tooth comb usually does the trick, but every so often I really like to get in there with a brush or a Tangle Teezer. combs-sheds The issue is, whenever I detangle my hair my signature coils disappear!  I am left with undefined puffs of natural hair, which is fine, but it’s far from my curl pattern. I have found that the key to retaining your curl pattern after you detangle is to apply another round of conditioner!  If I’m doing a serious detangling session (with a brush or Tangle Teezer) I’ll even do another deep conditioner.  The hydration from the conditioner will help my curls regain their definition.  Then I apply a stronger styling aid to keep them held (ie. a gel over a styling creme).

 

Check out this video where I explain how I use my favorite detangling tools on short and long hair!

Curl Clumping + Combing Conundrum

Yemi writes:

Hey Cassidy, I just watched your Wash and go vid and I’m curious: have your coils always clumped back up so easily after applying product? I didn’t comb my hair for a couple weeks and in that time my hair has clumped into teeny little pen spring coils which I have been defining in a wash and go. However, I’m worried about them being broken up when I finally detangle with a comb/brush. Is this something that becomes less of an issue when the coils have finally “set” i.e. not been broken up by combing for a while? Or is there a special technique I should be using to keep them clumped? I’ve been natural for eons but never knew my hair could do this until now so I’m at a loss for how to care for these coils! Thanks!

 

Why yes, yes indeed I do have this issue!  I have a naturally defined curl pattern made up of teeny weeny tiny coils made of zillions of fine strands.  

IMG_9178

Part of the deal with keeping my fine coils healthy and happy is that I have to rid them of all the shed hairs on a regular basis.  A weekly detangling session with a wide tooth comb usually does the trick, but every so often I really like to get in there with a brush or a Tangle Teezer.

combs-sheds

The issue is, whenever I detangle my hair my signature coils disappear!  I am left with undefined puffs of natural hair, which is fine, but it’s far from my curl pattern.

I have found that the key to retaining your curl pattern after you detangle is to apply another round of conditioner!  If I’m doing a serious detangling session (with a brush or Tangle Teezer) I’ll even do another deep conditioner.  The hydration from the conditioner will help my curls regain their definition.  Then I apply a stronger styling aid to keep them held (ie. a gel over a styling creme).

Check out this video where I explain how I use my favorite detangling tools on short and long hair!

How to Get Your Curls to Hang

“CASS!  HOW DO I GET MY CURLS TO HANG!?”

Because natural hair has a tendency to grow up and out rather than down, this is a question I get pretty often. But today is your lucky day because I have an answer!  There is just one simple step that will help you get hang.  Check it out:

Here’s a picture of me without the Hang Technique:

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Annnnd a picture of me with the Hang Technique:

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In both of these photos, my hair is equal amounts wet with a very similar cream-gel styling product, but as you can see my curls hang more when I use the technique.

There are three magic ingredients for this Hang Recipe.  Here’s the rundown:

How to Get Hang

Ingredients

  • A decent amount of length:  You need a few inches of hair that can’t hang.  Yea, it’s cute and all, but your TWA can’t defy gravity.
  • Your shower: And you need to be in it with clean hair and conditioner still in dem curls.
  • Styling product: Your favorite one!  Whether it’s a cream or a gel, pick your fave and get it in the shower WITH you.

Instructions

  • Cleanse your hair as usual
  • Apply conditioner
  • If you are leaving your conditioner in (to use under a gel for example), proceed to step 4. If you are using a rinse out conditioner, pay extra attention here: when you’re rinsing tip your head forward to under the shower.  People often will have their backs to the shower and tilt their head backwards to rinse, but by tipping your head forward you’re rinsing the direction you want your hair to hang.  Here, allow me to illustrate.
Rinse your hair like this!

Rinse your hair like this!

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NOT like this

  • Apply your styling product to soaking wet hair.  No plopping here!  And use A LOT.  More than you think you need.
  • Turn towards the shower and let the water run through your hair.  Just a bit!  Not enough to rinse the product out, but think of the water as more of a product application tool, allowing it to set your curls and elongate your strands.
  • Now shake the crap outta your hair and VOILA!  HANG!

 

The next step might take a bit of practice.  Sometimes I also cup my hands and fill them with water to scrunch water into my curls, either way the key is to use water to your advantage.

Good luck and lemme know how this works for you! Shout out to Dickey of HairRules for introducing me to this technique. It has become my go-to and Lola loves it!

If you’ve got other tips to get hang, leave ‘em in the comments!

Let’s Talk Hydration Retention: How Often Do Your Moisturize?

How to keep hair moisturized and hydrated is one of the most popular questions I am asked.  If there was one single, simple response to this popular inquiry, I’d give it to you right now.  But the fact is, it isn’t that simple and moisture retention is less of a tip or technique and more of a lifelong commitment. Personally, I find that with the right care methods, I can retain moisture for days on end, which is great. I’ve also heard from others that even when using some of the best moisturizers on the market, their hair remains dry and brittle. So before I share my moisture regimen, I want to hear about yours!

This week, the people have spoken: Americans have come out in record numbers to voice their choices and re-elected President Obama (!!!!!!!!!!!!). In the same spirit, I want to hear about YOU and YOUR moisture methods, challenges, and needs. Check out the short survey below and share with us your thoughts on this hot topic of MOISTURE!

 

 

Set It Free: Wild Success for Twin Cities Curlies! Event Wrap Up + Gallery

Last night, Natural Selection partnered with East 42nd Street Salon to host “Set It Free” a Deva-sponsored event brining together wavies, s’wavies, botecellis and fractals (thats ALL curl patterns for the non-Deva speakers out there) for an evening of curly wining, dining, and whole lots of styling.

Curlies were welcomed by a both a wine bar (self-explanatory) and a Curl Bar where the expert Deva-trained stylists did one-on-one consultations with attendees. There at the Curl Bar the stylists would analyze each unique curl pattern and recommend customized styling techniques and products for each person.

Following the Curl Bar happy hour, we all moved over to the main event space where we enjoyed a catered dinner by LaChaya Bistro and after a welcome by the Salon Manager, Jaclyn, I provided a quick overview of everything that is NaturalSelection and my personal hairstory. Then we all enjoyed a runway show where attendees with all curl types modeled first and second day hair, showing that it is possible to not only style great curls, but maintain them for days as well. Shout out to my cousin Charise who not only modeled in the show, but did her Big Chop two days ago to be in the show! (it looks awesome and we’ll have a fuller post on her experience soon!) Following the runway show, attendees purchased products and enjoyed the Curl Bar consultations once again while enjoying the soulful musical stylings of Ashley Dubose.

After doing events all over the country, it was truly a pleasure to be able to enjoy the curly community in a place called home. Knowing the Twin Cities, it was so special that people came from all over (some VERY far away), from all walks of life, with all curl patterns to enjoy, experience, and learn from this event. Thanks again to all those who came and I really look forward to doing it again.

I’ll have a full gallery up next week, but for now, here are a few select snaps!

Huge shout outs to Jaclyn and the E42 Stylists for hosting us and providing such a wonderfully educational experience, Meg from Deva for traveling from NYC to join us, and LaChaya, B.Resale, + Ashely Dubose for adding the ambiance, flavor, and style to make this a truly memorable event. Also thanks to the family parts: Mom–for coming out and supporting and even allowing your hair to be curled. Nana– for always getting in the mix and being there for your grandkid. Rica–for hair modeling and BIG CHOPPING! WOO!!

Curls for #DaysandDaysandDaysandDays

Fourth day hair! It’s something I rarely strive for any more because I actually just really like washing my hair every other day or so, but for real— Lola was looking her best at Day Four after her color and set from Madusalon. Oh so very good that I had to record a little show’n'tell all about it!

For a refresher on my nighttime routine, check out this video!

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