My Braid-Out Set

I’ve been twisting and braiding my butt off, and I’ve finally got something worth sharing with my readers.

TRUST ME, what I’ve learned since being natural is that the key to finding different styles that work for you is experimentation. I thought I would love twist-outs, then tried them and not so much. lol

I eventually did get a pretty okay looking twist-out…but it was by accident. So goes to show that practice and trying different methods will eventually get you somewhere.

What I’m going to share is my second successful braid-out. I didn’t have time to document the first one :OP

First of all, I found that I like the look of braid-outs on my hair a lot more. I think they give my hair more wave/crimp definition and I also get a longer, stretched-out look (something I was trying to achieve with a twist-out). Maybe as my hair gets longer, I’ll experiment more with twist-outs, but right now I’m loving the braid-out.

Here’s my method:

1. I start by parting my hair into four sections- across the middle and down the middle from my crown. The way you make your major parts, is the direction your braid-out will fall or lay in. ex: if you want your hair to frame your face, part down the middle, and so forth.

2. I used perm rods (I think they are the 3/4 inch ones).

3. I started braiding my hair. I did 3 braids for each bottom section, and prob 5-6 for each top section. I had a total of 15-17 braids which only took about 45 min.

4. This was inspired by Curly Nikki’s twist-n-curl –  only I did braids instead of twists (now lovingly referred to as the braid-n-curl on her site).

**Also, I don’t just put the rollers on the ends, I roll the perm rods all the way to the root as if I’m doing a true spiral rod set. My hair is too short now to put anything on just the end. lol It would prob be easier to do that once I have longer braids.

5. While braiding, I used a little Giovanni Smooth as Silk conditioner before doing each braid (you can use any conditioner, leave-in, or setting lotion/spray you wish). On my first  successful set, I actually used Lustrasilk Olive Oil Cholesterol which came out great as well. It wasn’t really as heavy as I thought, but gave just enough weight and shine to my curl. I washed my hair the next day though, so I’ll have to experiment with this to see if it creates too much build-up with continual use each night.

*You can probably seal your ends with any oil (shea, coconut, etc) – I didn’t this time, b/c my hair was already laden with coconut oil (my hair absorbs the stuff!)

6. I also washed my hair the day before. I found that I prefer to do my braid-outs on freshly clean, but dry hair. I may try it on wet hair now that I’ve found something that works, but I’m not in a rush since I’m digging this method. Plus, my hair takes forever to dry.

7. Just tie your head up with a scarf or sleep on a satin pillow case and you should be fine!

SIDE BAR: the mistake I made the first time, was sleeping with these bad boys in! Please don’t! I now leave the perm rods in only before bed, by the time I’m ready to sleep the braids have had enough time to set into curled ends.  So, out they come!

The thing I love about this set, is that it is quick and I can do it messily (as you’ll see in the pics)! As long as you’ve got the hair braided, the neatness of parts and all that other ish doesn’t matter. This is a roller set I’ve always dreamed of! lol

Here are pics of the process described above:

1. Parted (if you’d like to call it that) into 4 sections, to get the hair out of my way.

2. Hair set, in the direction I want my hair to lay.

3. Finished Product, fluffed and all that stuff

4. Threw on a headband b/c I usually get tired of hair in my face

5. Back

The End.

:: Hope this helps ::


Filed under: My Hair, Uncategorized

Big Fat Healthy Hair

Ever heard that hair loves fat?

Think of hair mayo and oily/protein laden products that are often used in deep conditioning treatments.  It’s true that a lot of the time fat hair = healthy hair.

If only the rest of our body thrived on this notion.  ;>

An article at actually reveals some more news about fat and healthy hair (and skin). Apparently there’s an enzyme which synthesizes fat and could partially account for healthy, gorgeous locks. It seems that this enzyme renders plain ole’ fat into good fat for our bodies”

“The enzyme is acyl CoA:diacylglycerol acyltransferase 1 or DGAT1. Mice that lack DGAT1 have many interesting characteristics. For example, they are lean, resistant to diet-induced obesity, are more sensitive to insulin and leptin, and have abnormalities in mammary gland development and skin.

When Gladstone researchers in the laboratory of Robert V. Farese, Jr. used genetic engineering to delete the enzyme in mice, they found that lack of DGAT1 caused levels of retinoic acid (RA) to be greatly increased in skin and resulted in the loss of hair. Their findings were reported in The Journal of Biological Chemistry….

Our results show that DGAT1 is an important component for controlling retinoic acid levels in the skin of mice,” said Michelle Shih, the lead author on the study. “These findings may have implications for the treatment of human skin or hair disorders.

So if you’re stressing over extra pounds from the holidays, console yourself with news that at least some part of you could benefit from a fat fest…if you’ve got “the enzyme.”

I’m done. lol

:: Grow On ::

Filed under: Uncategorized, ,

Stay Tuned

georgia.g/ Flickr

Just a reminder to stay tuned.

I have been experimenting with more styles, which has been a sometimes fun-sometimes frustrating feat.

But, I will be posting the results of my tweaked and geeked version of a braid-out.

Should have updates tomorrow evening!

Filed under: Uncategorized

Hair Mavens: Rochelle Aytes

The first time I saw Rochelle Aytes was in White Chicks, and I think she stood out because of her big beautiful curls in the movie. Aytes has since done a lot of work with Tyler Perry (Madea’s Family Reunion and House of Payne), and she has also had some reoccurring roles on the small screen (NCIS and Drive).

Although she wears her hair in a number of styles both straight and curly, I’m sure you can tell where my preference lies :)

This is a great inspiration pic for an attainable length (in my not-so-distant future). This is for all my fellow BC’ers that may be missing their length, while loving their newly natural locks!

Here’s to another familiar curly that will go down in Hair Mavens history.

Would you like to be featured as a Hair Maven?

Be one of the first BLACKSTRANDS readers to rep from our online community!

contact me at to strut your mane!

Filed under: Hair Mavens,