BLACKSTRANDS

Located: Natural Hair Stylist

Since starting a new job, my regimen has been straightforward to say the least.

For most of April and May, there was hardly no braidouts, a lot of wash and gos (since the weather permitted) and I was loving on my EZcombs <3 (my glorified curly pony).

I was feeling the need for a change, but the effort  just wasn’t in me to make one. lol

LUCKILY, I happened to spot a young lady one day with flowing, thick healthy tresses and asked her who her stylist was. Guess what?  I found out that, not only was she natural – but so was her stylist.

Needless to say, I immediately set up my own appointment – and the rest is history.  I later found out that my stylist has quite a number of natural (and relaxed) clientele.

The last time I went to a salon, was when I got my hair cut (the big chop) by Anthony Dickey. So obviously my salon visits have been infrequent but well worth it when I finally do decide to go. I may even stop in her shop to get some natural styles that I have no patience for.

Here are some pics – I got a blow-out and silk press. I also got a full trim…because it was time for one :-O

My hair actually seemed to grow at a record pace in just a month’s time. And this is after I got a full trim. I just wish I was able to get some pics of my hair pre-cut.

So, either my hair was really loving me leaving it alone or I was going through a summer growth spurt… Possibly both? Either way, I hope things continue to progress smoothly.

BTW: Do you guys notice the touch of red from the henna treatment I did about a month ago? You can kinda see it in the last pic – faint, but there nonetheless.

For ladies in the Hampton Roads, VA area:

Salon Boio

The salon is in Norfolk, VA off Military Hwy

Turn into the shopping center on Hoggard Road (directly behind Boston Market)

Stylist: Shavon Boughton    contact: 757.322.0224     email: boio12@cox.net

Filed under: My Hair, Uncategorized,

My Transition Story on Curly Nikki

the style that got me through my transition

Just wanted to send a shout out and thanks over to CurlyNikki.com  :)

My transition story was featured there today – Nikki is doing big things, so you should visit for yourself to see (if you haven’t already)!

click HERE to read my story.

:: Grow on ::

Filed under: My Hair, Uncategorized, , ,

Quick How-To: Ponytail Roller Set

MissTessmacher/ flickr

I said I would share my ponytail roller set experience, so here goes. I did this a couple months ago, and have been  planning to post the results for awhile ever.

This is basically a low-heat method to get your hair straight or stretched. It’s also great for naturals or transitioners because it’s quicker and easier than a traditional roller set – plus, the ponytails allow for more ease with straightening roots.

Preparation:

- Cleansed hair with Apple Cider Vinegar & Water mix
- Conditioned with Giovanni Smooth as Silk conditioner

Roller Set How -To & Pics:

1.  I did 4 ponytails down the middle (mohawk style) then 4 on each side. Used black satin pontytail holders that don’t pull out/snag  hair.

2.  I used a spray bottle of water and HE Long Term Relationship Leave-In to “set” my hair. I sprayed each section before rolling, to make sure it was soaking wet, easier to roll and less prone to frizz while drying.

3.  Use a fine tooth comb to help comb detangled length and ends over roller. Make sure to keep the roller pulled taut, since this aids in the straightening process!

** I wouldn’t recommend the pins I used in the pics below! They weren’t bad or anything, but I  made do with them. I much prefer the ones I have now – duckbill clips. These are the standard clips most sane people use while roller setting. **

** I used medium sized rollers to set each ponytail firmly in places (with pins) – You may need larger or smaller rollers depending on length of hair: longer hair = larger rollers; shorter hair = smaller rollers **

4.   Sat under dryer until hair was completely dry.

5.   Lightly flat ironed each ponytail section with Sedu on low setting – *could have done without this step – next time, I’ll cut out the flat iron entirely to see results.

6.   Saran wrapped hair and sat under dryer for 15 min – this takes some of the “bulk” or weight out of your hair, if you want a silky-straighter look.

The whole sectioning/ponytail and roller setting process (minus the time under dryer) only took about an hour. Also, this was my first time trying a roller set this way – It wasn’t perfect, but it was surprisingly nice!  I intend to get faster with practice.

Filed under: How-To, My Hair, , ,

A Pleasant Surprise: EZ Combs

I randomly saw an EZ Combs 2-set on sale while shopping a week ago, and I figured – why not??

I have tons of headbands, ponytail holders, clips and clamps…the list goes on, so this couldn’t hurt. I’m always trying to do a different take on hairstyles.

After I tried it for the first time, I was pleasantly surprised. I could FINALLY get my hair into a ponytail without my layered curls in the front popping back up! I have been trying about a zillion different ways to get my protective updo to lay down when my hair is in it’s natural state, but I would have to use bobby pins or clips which annoyed me and ruined the whole point of having a sleek and quick go-to hairstyle.

Well, this was the answer!

I highly recommend this to any recent big choppers, or ladies who have natural, layered hair. When my hair is straightened, a quick ponytail or updo is no problem – but hair that is not all one length can be hard to just smooth back when curly/kinky.

Luckily my random purchase turned out to be a winner :)

What I like about the EZ comb:

- You can stretch it to hold just about any hair style – It’s also great for ladies with thick hair.

- The combs don’t pull out or snag hair when your take them out. (Be careful though not to get hair tangled in the beaded elastic bands)

- It’s cute, but really not that noticeable of a hair accessory, so you can wear it with just about anything. The combs come in different colors too (I have black and tan).

** Quick Note: This is also comparable to Hairzings – just never tried them to vouch for the brand**

All I have to say is, thank goodness a quick pony is now an option. lol

I love braid-outs, but this really helps me to do quick styles that don’t require night/prior preparation.

Here are some pics of 2 styles I’ve done over the last week (variation of pony – half up wash&go):

* My pony is kind of dry and frizzy (time to wash), but I was just happy to do one, so I had to document it  lol


:: hope this helps ::

Filed under: My Hair, , , ,

Hair Over Time: My Natural Comparison Pics

Brandon Christopher Warren/ flickr

I’ll try to keep this short… Below are my wash and go comparisons, as well as straightened.

Natural: Day of Big Chop (beginning of October)

- dried at salon under hooded dryer

- stretched some when nearly dry with blowdryer and diffuser

- used Hair Rules Curly Whip

Natural: 4.5 Months later

- air dried

- Herbal Essence Long Term Relationship Leave-in & coconut oil

I didn’t straighten until a month after my big chop, so these straight comparison pics are over 3.5 months time.


Side Comparison:

Back Comparison:

Things are going along steadily, I’m pleased.

Lately I’ve been trying different methods to stretch my hair before flat ironing: ponytail rollersetting (will do a post on this later), and this time I air dried overnight in braids then lightly pressed with a traditional stove top hot comb (very light, like a straight afro) – followed by flat ironing.

I think I’m going to do a light trim/dusting in a few days. I’m not far from, if not at the length I was at before I did the chop….things should only get better from here.

Filed under: My Hair, ,

Reviews: Hana Elite Flat Iron

bloomsberries/ flickr

My verdict on the Hana Elite 1″ iron…

Grade : A -

Pros:

- lightweight iron; easy to do styles like  flips, curls, spirals, etc

- adjustable heat setting; heats quickly

- NO smoky or burning smell even on high settings (I ironed on about 370-375 degrees)

- straightens hair and gives it a silky/shiny finish. With previous irons, I would could get very straight hair (FHI platform) but not as much shine and swing.

- You can hold onto the plates; ample covering. With my Sedu, for instance, I would nearly burn my fingers when I wanted to hold the plates to style, because of the thin casing that enclosed the plates.

- 100% ceramic plates; important because you don’t have to worry about ceramic coating that eventually wears off – this could create “hot spots” that could fry/burn your hair.

- Two year warranty

Possible Drawback:

- Kind of pricey, but I think its worth it, considering the price of some other 100% ceramic irons on the market (i.e. like the FHI Runway)

Overall Opinion:

Worth the money because of the results, ease in straightening (took me 45  mins, instead of the normal 1.5 hrs) and added protection of 100% ceramic plates. I didn’t give it an A or A+ because I haven’t tried other irons that are comparable models of the Hana Elite.  Currently, this iron beats out the others in my possession. I’m very pleased with the results :)

Results/ Pics – taken same time as my hair comparison pics – all done with the Hana Elite :)

Filed under: My Hair, Reviews, , ,

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