Tuesday, June 26, 2012

My Styling Wish List... I think I can, I think I can!

When I see interesting, fierce, and elegant styles on other people, I want NEED to try them myself. The internet makes it impossible to keep up with everything but I'm obligated to try. It only worsens my HIH (Hand-In-Head) syndrome, but try not to judge me or yourself if you're inspired to try a few.

OMG!!! I've gotta figure this out, I'm intrigued. It looks like a fold and tuck style, but something about the sides. Hmm... wish I could find a back view perspective.
via Afro Glitz

Oh yeah... def adding this to the list! Priceless throwback. Said to be a photo from Madagascar, I'm guessing nineteenth century? (Don't quote me on that!)

I ran across this style sported by user doulacubanita on Natural Sunshine. This has to be added to the list of styles I want to try.
via Natural Sunshine

Shut the front door! This is TOO FLY! Ok, I'm departing the Afro Glitz site right now, cause this is too much for me in my condition (see HIH syndrome). It's a braided fold and tuck! Oh wait, did anyone else notice how the style above is so similar to this one? I wonder if doulacubanita was also inspired by this picture...
via Afro Glitz

Monday, June 25, 2012

Style Tutorial: Fold & Tuck Updo

So I've been wanting to try my hand at this fold and tuck technique ever since I first saw this tutorial by Lovingyourhair on YouTube. I tried my hand at it today after taking down my twists from wash day (two days ago). I love it with the texture of the twist out! I like the messy look, so I kept my finger parts from the twists to make the rolls. This style took me 10 minutes and 10 bobby pins! What do you guys think?


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Cassandra Jackson Thinks Natural Hair is the End of Black Beauty Culture

Right now, the beauty shop is still there, but I am not. I will not take my daughter there because I want her to love her perfect springy curls. She will hear me laugh with my sister about the time that she 'kissed' my ear with a hot straightening comb, but my daughter will never know how such a tool of pain could evoke such warm intimacy. I want her to love her hair as it grew out of her head, but I also want her to know a place where tired black women can shame a man with a word and look. But I cannot have it both ways.

Cassandra Jackson raises many interesting points about the loss of an integral element of Black female culture. Yet I would argue that it is possible to have both the liberation of natural hair and the solidarity of salon culture. There are many women who can't/won't do their own hair, and there are those who just prefer the pampering of a salon. These are the women who will maintain the salon culture. In fact they are probably the women who have been maintaining the salon culture through all of these generations, as I would argue a DIY kinda gal is the same whether her hair is worn naturally or processed.

At the moment there are few mainstream salons that cater to natural hair and those that specialize are usually overpriced. I hope to see more hair stylists offer services for natural hair. If more stylists were able to do natural hair, the overall price would probably decrease. Furthermore, the stigma of naturally kinky hair being difficult to manage would desist.

I don't see the growing natural haired population as a threat to salon culture, but rather as an opportunity to return to the original "kitchen salon" culture of Black womanhood. The bonding that Jackson refers to was never about getting kinky hair permed or even pressed, but about women coming together in a sacred space.

What do you guys think? Is it possible for salon culture to survive the migration of Black women to their natural texture?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Style Tutorial: Curly Sue (Mini Twist Flexi Rod Roller Set)

I've been rocking mini twists for two weeks now and have kept them in a bun most of the time. Two weeks is a long time for me to wear one style, I love to switch it up every other day or so! So I decided to roller set my twists with flexi rods and without heat.

The night before I had co-washed my twists, but had kept them in a bun since then. I lightly spritzed clumps of 5 or 6 twists with water. Then I applied a dime-sized amount of Jane Carter Solution Wrap & Roll foam and wrapped each section tightly around a flexi rod. My hair was damp but not at all saturated.

I applied a scarf and let my hair set overnight. In the morning I took out the rollers. My hair was still well moisturized from being in a bun after co-washing, so I didn't feel the need to add any oil to my hands before unrolling. I will probably spritz and seal my twists tonight before bed.

I separated the twists in each clump and that was it! The takedown process took about 15 minutes total (unrolling and separating). The rolling took a little over an hour... but there was a movie and snacking involved. 8-D

YES!!! The flexi rods are uncomfortable to sleep in. I usually try to use them in the morning if I don't have to leave the house until later in the day. For those who need quicker results, you can use a hooded dryer. For touch-ups or bangs, a blow dryer with a diffuser can set the curls in as little as five minutes. Flexi rods take a while to dry so consider these guidelines when using them:
  1. Dampen, don't saturate the hair. If you just washed your hair, blot or plop it to absorb most of the water.
  2. Use small sections of hair. The less hair on the roller, the faster the dry time.
  3. A foam or mousse product is lighter than a gel or cream, and dries much quicker.
  4. Give yourself the adequate amount of time for the curls to set. If you are really in a rush, try a ventilated roller. Flexi rods make awesome long-lasting curls, but they take a while to work their magic.
  5. Clean your flexi rods after each use. Think about the product buildup your hair would have if you never cleaned it. The same applies to your hair tools. I just dump them in the sink with some warm water and a little Dr. Bronner's soap. Be sure to set them out on a towel to dry thoroughly before storing.
What are your favorite curling hair tools? Do you have a "quick set" method?