Archive for protective styles

Summer Hair Style

As you all know I love to flip the script in the summer months.  This summer I am using a TOTALLY different technique to rock a style I’ve been moving towards since deciding to be natural. Clearly getting to my natural hair length goal will not happen over night. But that is why I feel God allowed man to invent wigs. lol…so in the meantime……

Meet “Drew” from Beshe’s line of synthetic lace front wigs.  This particular wig was purchased from Elevate Styles, an online hair care store.  I have to give a shout out to my stylist Ms @StunningIsShe for sending me the link to this gorgeous wig.  So how did I get this look….
First I had my hair shampoo’d, conditioned (well with that tingly stuff….head is about to be wrapped up for a, blown out and then braided up.  This is how I will wear MY natural hair for at least 3 weeks.  Next I put on the wig cap to continue with protecting the hair while wearing the wig and tada……I’m done!
“Drew” is very soft and comes already full of body.  It was very easy to put on AND the package does include tape if needed. I will say that you have to watch as you style (or play in it like I’ve been doing) for since it IS synthetic, it can frizz easily. Besides that, I have no complaints of this company’s wigs and “Drew” specifically.  This will not be my last purchase from them 🙂

loving this pic!

I must say that I am loving this wig. My plan is to have my natural hair cleansed thoroughly, conditioned then blown out and re braided every 3 weeks.  I am not sure how long I will wear “Drew”, but I do know that until I stop loving this look on me….she aint going anywhere!  So what do you all think family…..the orAKAle has spoken….

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Summer Hair Protective Style

Hey SC family!  Quick update post for you today….

I just wanted to share the current hair style that I am rocking for the summer.  If you read in my previous post “To Weave, Braid, Relax/Perm…that is the Question“, I spoke about how I chose to get a sew in and why I believe this type of style can work for your hair.  Also, there was a call to encourage all to conduct your own research on multiple hair styles; rather that believing the hype and being scared away to try something different.  Well…..I totally forgot that I never posted the results of my sew in for you all.  I apologize for the late notice of this…for I have really been feeling myself this summer.

I got my weave sown in around the beginning of June.  My intent is to keep it until at least the middle of August.  This way, I can give my natural hair a break from all the maneuvering, etc.  Again, I think this is a great protective style when you want a break; along with a super cute style for all those who are transitioning to a natural hair regimen OR considering going natural.  So without further delay, below are some pics of my current summer hair. Enjoy!



the orAKAle has spoken……

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Last Braid Out for Summer 2010

As some of you may know, I have decided to go see my natural hair stylist in the STL, and get a glamorous sew in for the summer.  This is not uncommon for me (to get a protective style for the summer months), but usually I am getting braids versus this options (for those who may be new to SC and black hair terms, a “sew in” is usually in reference to a weave or extensions in ones hair).

To send off my lovely coils with a BANG before getting sewed up, I decided to do one last braid out…for old time sake. I know your probably thinking “why is she talking like she is never going to see her natural hair again”….BECAUSE it will be gone for about 3 months and I will miss my coils……(don’t judge me). Lol.  Below are the results…..enjoy….


this is my hair literally after a cleansing...look at those coils POP!

Decided that since I am going to be “weaved up” for a few months, it would be good to do a ACV rinse and a hot oil treatment to add some protect the hair (while braided and covered).  I let the oil sit on the hair for about 30 minutes….(entirely to long in my opinion..but I got lost in a and then proceeded to detangling with my new found love the Denman Brush and began braiding the hair.  Hair tools needed: rubber duckbill clips (2), hair clamps and a wide tooth comb (as well as my denman)….oh and a towel 🙂

I used my current go to product, AfroVeda’s She Alma Hair Butter(I promise a product review is coming soon); applying the cream from root to end.  Below are those results and the current length of my hair:


top/side view (one of these days I will get a good back view for you all)


JESUS...the suitcases under the eyes....

For those who REALLY follow SC, you will notice first the length of my braids and how quickly my hair is growing. Also, you will see NO FUZZY ENDS!  I made a point to concentrate on the ends of the braids with my hair butter, but also with my braiding technique. No hair went unturned this time.  Lol.   As usually I sealed with shea butter and I made the braids medium sized, versus the usual smaller sized ones (since I was taking them down in the morning).

I literally did this while watching some RedBox movies.  It took longer than it should, but since I was watching a movie…I didn’t care.  For bed time, I pushed the front two braids off to the side and put on my satin cap. In the morning, I got up and unbraided the hair with dry hands……went back to getting dressed for work and then used my AfroVeda Totally Twisted Hair Cream to separate and style.  The verdict is in all:


you know I like to lean wit it!


this pic right here really showed me how thick and healthy my hair is


and now I'm ready for work...

Well all, while I will miss piddling in my hair, I am happy to take a break and wear a different look for a few weeks.  I will be posting the results of my sew in once I get it.  NOW, since I am taking a break, I need YOU the SC family to submit your “naturally innovative” styles and product selections for the group… on the “contact me” button on the top right to participate.  Until next time…..

The orAKAle has spoken!

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Rogue Twist Out Set

Hey SC Family,
Quick post today…..dilemma….did a great twist set to wear for about a week (two weeks maximum if last).  Well, I was able to keep the double strand twist for almost two weeks, but due to them looking raggedy I had to take them out.  Below is a few pics of how the twist turned out:

twist top view

notice the split wouldnt even totally twist all the way...FAIL!

absolutely the BEST photo out of all of them

As you can see, they didn’t turn out bad.  I’m actually getting better with twisting and/or braiding my own hair to wear as a protective style.  Now mind you, I completed this style around 11 pm…so I was mad tired in these photos all…and had bad lighting to take pics. Lol.
I did the usual routine (clear here for more information) as far as products.    Still trucking away with my AfroVeda products…and I plan to do so until I use it all up (month).  I believe in using products for at least a month to see how they work on the hair.
I kept the twist in for almost two weeks, as I mentioned above; but was disappointed in how messy they started to look after a week.  Like I’m suppose to, I slept in a satin cap every night, and the days I felt lazy, I slept on satin pillow covers….so the hair was protected right……..
About every other day (or may two) I would mist my hair with my favorite spray bottle concoction….but only if it looked and felt thirsty.  You gotta pay attention to your coils hunny…they will never lie to you. After much prayer and meditation, I felt it was only fair to my hair to take it down. Cause really…who wants to walk around with fuzzy looking twist.  Below are the results of the twist out:

not sure why I am smiling, cause I don't like it

**Sigh**…I mean what do I say about this family……it was a “rogue” twist out set….lol.  All I can do is laugh at this picture….You can also tell that one side of the head (the right in the pic) is longer than the other.  Ultimate failure….

Again, the purpose of this blog is to show that I to am human just like the rest of you all. My hair has a mind of its own (like you all as well), and sometimes I have to let it do what it does.  How do you savor a wreck like this…..put a thick headband or scarf on and keep it moving….lol…and that is exactly what I did.

Point to remember – We all have good days and not so good days (because I don’t believe in bad natural hair days) when it comes to our hair.  Ultimately YOU decide how to finish when a style doesn’t turn out right.  Personally, I finished strong from this atrocity. Lol.

Learning points:
  • How important it is to twist all the way down to the ends (even if split)
  • Sealing the hair with shea is always a must on protective styles
  • Do not start twisting or braiding hair at 8 pm at night…you may get distracted and take all night finishing. Lol
  • When in doubt, pull hair off the face with a favorite headband or scarf…they will never know..
The orAKAle has spoken….

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QOTW: General Upkeep of Type4 Hair

This week’s question comes from SC reader Ms. D McGee about some general tips for her type4 hair:


I am just 5 months into my transitional from relaxed to natural and I refuse to do the big chop. I am currently using the Chi iron to straighten my hair about every two weeks or week and half.  I have about I guess 2 inches of new growth and my natural texture is tight curls from what I can tell.  I have a “good grade” of hair and I was only getting a perm about every two months, but I could have went longer.

I was wondering if you had any tips on ways to style my hair and just the general upkeep of my hair. I saw the twist out and figured I would try it. Also what shampoos and conditioners do you suggest?  I heard that Aveda is good. Should I be doing a hot oil treatment in my hair? What is your opinion of sew-ins to help with the process? Should I not be using the Chi on my hair so often? Have you heard of Curls’ Transitioning Diva Kit?

I know this is a lot of questions. I am excited and frustrated all at the same time and I really want to do this. I thank you advance for answering my questions.


Ms. D. McGee

Thanks for the questions Ms. D and I too am excited about your decision to embark on this journey! Try your best not to get frustrated hunny, for I know that at this stage it can be really hard.   This is a very challenging time for you, as you are fresh into your transition stage.  That being said, this is also the perfect time for you to try some new styles out and have a fun until you decided to rid yourself of the remaining permed hair.  As always, I look for the SC family to weigh in on their thoughts, but I will do my best to give my suggestions/recommendations on some possible tips to help maintain your hair.

First and foremost, we ALL have a “good grade” of hair.  We may have different ways of maintaining our hair (some of us may have to practice more patience than others), but in the end we all have this thing called GOOD HAIR.

In my last post on how to Moisturize your TWA, I mentioned many products to consider (online ordering versus around the corner), but also a list of ingredients to either look for OR run away.  You have to keep in mind that everyone’s hair is different so you definitely want to listen to YOU hair and determine your needs from there.  In my opinion, the products you use make all the difference in achieving the “styles” you seek.  Before trying anything, I highly suggest you take a hard look at the shampoo’s, conditioners, styling aids, etc and determine if they are still considered “good” for your hair (in its current state).

Products to Consider:

To be more specific, while I was transitioning I FAITHFULLY used Karen’s Body Beautiful (KBB).  Not only does her products work for those who are natural, but also for those who regularly straighten their hair.  Her products are reasonably priced AND remember a little goes a long way.  For more convenient items found in your neighborhood beauty supply, Pantene for African American Hair line is real good one especially if transitioning. While some of the ingredients mentioned in my last post is prevalent on their ingredient list, this is a line I used that works well for my 4A/B hair.  Again, you have to decide what ingredients you do or don’t want in your hair products, but as a newer natural, this line can be your life line.

Weekly/Monthly treatments:

YES, YES and oh did I mention YES!!!  You should definitely be utilizing the hot oil treatment technique at least once a month while transitioning. These treatments will not only help to keep the two hair textures in check, but also will add moisture and repair the strands as your new natural hair continues to grow out.  Also, I noticed my hair was a lot thicker because of this technique, than when I was perming it out (lol).  To this day, I still treat my coils to a hot oil treatment monthly as part of my current regimen.  You can use just about any natural oil to accomplish this (refer to linked post above for my suggestions).  My hot pick (and of course my staple) is shea butter, with a hint of coconut oil.

Also, I highly suggest a weekly deep treatment (DT) for your hair, with a good moisturizing product.  Again, this will help keep your type 4 hair soft and manageable while transitioning.   I used (and still do) LeKair’s Cholestorol….an oldie but goodie!  I purposely look for deep treatment products that aid in dry brittle or damaged hair.  This is not due to my coils being this way, BUT I can feel confident that I’m getting all the necessary ingredients for soft and shiny hair.

Styling options:

Well of course I am a fan of the dry twist.  I did this A LOT while transitioning. The only thing to remember is that you want to limit the amount of heat applied to the hair.  Straightening is an option, but I prefer to keep the heat to a minimum; so doing this often was not my choice.  With that being said, I know many naturalistas who utilized the blow out/straightening iron technique while transitioning (and actually still do).  I also utilize the sew in weave style at least once during my transitioning phase.  This is a great way to give your hair a break AND also protect the new growth as your natural coils continues to grow out.  The only catch (depending on the type of sew in you get), you will need to be mindful of the amount of heat you are putting on your hair (to achieve and keep the sew in style).  The more heat you use, the likely hood of you altering your hair texture increases (which in fact is possible when applying regular heat to your coils).

Other styles you may consider include, but are not limited to: braids, twist out sets, roller sets, straw sets, finger or comb twist…the list goes on and on.  I would highly suggest purchasing a natural hair book to assist with really all your questions (click here to see my top picks).  Remember its also about trial and error when determining what styles to attempt!  The only way to learn new styles or what products not to use is by trying new things. Personally, the transition phase was an exciting time for me for I was slowly watching my REAL hair grow out and I got creative on how to style my hair.  It encouraged me to keep going with the transition process, AND to also learn more about my God given texture.

Well that is all I can think of right now!  Again, I am giving my account from what I learned AND experience while transitioning over a year ago.  My transition phase was not long, but in that time, the above is what I did to get threw it.  Know that you are constantly learning new things about your hair, styling, etc.  I learn something new literally every time I cleanse my hair…lol…but again that is me.  Hope this helps you and remember to be patience and love your natural!

The orAKAle has spoken…..

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Dry Twist Set

Hey family, I had great results with a recent dry twist set that I did and just had to share with the SC readers.  So as many of you know, the Dry Twist is a style that I used for a transitioning style when embarking on my natural hair journey. Well, this is also a great protective style for any and all naturals who want to try it.  Below is what I did:


+ Shampooed the hair with KBB’s Conditioning Shampoo (you all know I swear by her stuff right)
+ Applied weekly DT w/ KBB’s deep conditioner, put a plastic cap on and went about my daily chores
+ Waited 30 minutes, rinsed and then applied Kinky Kurly Knot Today leave-in/detangler.
(Please note – in my experience Kinky Kurly products don’t always “play nicely” with other brands, so please use with caution if only using the detangler/leave in)
+ As I detangled and separated (w/a wide tooth comb) I twisted the hair into knots and separated into from the rest of the hair.
+ Next I blow dried each section thoroughly until dried (this may be an issue for those who don’t want to put ANY heat on the hair….your choice though) using the wide tooth adapter. At this point the hair is in a fro.

Twisting and Style:

+ I apply small amounts of Jamaica Mango & Lime Crème Wax to each section and twist down to the end.
+ I seal my twist with my homemade concoction of shea butter, coconut oil and olive oil
+ Apply small to medium perm rods to the twist (I usually set no more than 3-4 twist per roller).
Below are some pics of the results:

Please pay no attention to the "rogue" braid at the hair be playing games sometimes. Lol look really strug on this one...but I was tired yall

Look how fully and perfectly placed they look...that was an accident by the way.


For bedtime, I put on my satin cap and off to bed I went.  This style can last you from 2-4 weeks, and to keep the look fresh (and the scalp clean of build up), I used SeaBreeze astringent on the scalp one a week. This product helps to prevent product build up AND keeps the scalp smelling clean and refreshed!  As the curls start to fall, I reset them as needed for the night in the perm rods.  For moister and shine, again I use my concoction as needed…but I usually don’t have to put much!

My $.08 on Jamaica Mango & Lime products: Some people are not a fan of this line for some of the products have beeswax in it.  While I am one who tries to stay clear of this ingredient  (can cause build up AND weighs the hair down), if I only apply a small amount necessary for twisting, the wax helps to hold my twist, give it shine (not a greasy look or feel) and helps to keep it soft and manageable.  Again, my experience with my type 4A/B hair.

The orAKAle has spoken……..

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