Thursday, March 26, 2015

Lookbook | Natural Hair Wedding

Hello Ladies, the remainder of this week will focus on natural hair wedding season! You may have noticed my new Pinterest Wedding board. Use that board for inspiration as well. So let’s get started!

The first look is a simple, yet regal TWA (teeny, weenie, afro). These photos were part of a collection featured on Essence magazine by MUNALUCHI and KISS THE GROOM.


 Add a flourish with an elegant hair piece with tulle, flowers, or feathers.



Gorgeous!


Breathtaking!


I hope this provided some inspiration for current or future brides with natural hair! Stay tuned… (;

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Lookbook | More Mini Twists & Spring Outfits

I promised that I would be back with more lookbooks for Mini Twists. Here they are! Style your Mini Twists and pair them with professional looks of teal and tan. With the addition of a blazer for the workplace or interviews or a chic clutch for church or a special occasion, you're sure to be the best dressed!







Model photos courtesy of Essence


What are your favorite colors for spring?


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

7 Things Every Big Chopper Needs



Cutting off all your hair can be the stuff nightmares are made of for most women. Despite that fact, more and more women are big chopping to join team natural.

As they should be! Going natural can be the most exhilarating, and according to many women, the best decision one can make. A little preparation will help to make the journey to natural as smooth as possible. Read on for a few must-haves you'll need in your big chopper arsenal.

Read More >>

Monday, March 16, 2015

Selecting The Correct Havana Hair Color – A Guide

Choosing the correct Havana hair color can be a tricky task, especially if you have color-treated or dyed hair. Although Finger Comber offers a hair color chart, it is outdated and does not always reflect the true color of their Havana hair colors. Read this guide before selecting your Havana hair to ensure that you have the right fit!

Understanding Color in Kinky Hair Extensions
Though Finger Comber compares their Havana hair colors to the hair color scale (1, 1b, 4, etc) that is used for straight-haired extensions, the rule of thumb to remember with Havana hair is that is always two shades darker than straight-hair extensions. Why? Like regular human hair, straight hair tends to reflect light making the color brighter and seemingly shiny, while kinky hair absorbs light, making the color darker and less shiny (Kong). This rule applies to extensions too. Whatever Havana color you choose, understand that it will be a darker, deeper tone than straight hair extensions with the same hair color number.


This is the Finger Comber chart of Havana hair colors found on their website. Even still, with this Finger Comber chart it is difficult to determine the hair color.

This is a chart I made to reflect my interpretation of the Havana hair colors in relation to straight hair extensions.

Notice the difference. The straight hair colors are brighter, while the Havana hair colors are deeper toned. As you can also see, the Havana hair colors Onyx, Chestnut Black, and Darkest Expresso are very similar. (In fact, I remember suggesting to my sister that she buy Darkest Expresso when Chestnut Black was out of stock. She found that the colors were similar and that the difference was not very noticeable).

I ordered this redish-brown color of “Sangria” Havana hair. Finger Comber's website says that this “Sangria” hair is similar to #33 straight hair extensions. You can see, however, how much deeper toned the Havana hair is. The true color is only brighter in natural lighting.




I hope this chart is helpful to you as you select your Havana hair color. This is also a chart you can refer back to when purchasing other types of kinky hair.

Remember to moisturize and regularly take care of your hair and scalp even while it is in extensions. Using hair sprays or scalp massages are good ways to do this. Also, do not keep your extensions in longer than 3 weeks at a time. And always give your hair a rest before adding extensions back in. Your hair is healthiest and happiest when it is out on its own, so let it be extension-free for longer periods of time!

Let me know if you have any questions and I’d be happy to help!

Disclaimer: I have not bought all the shades of Havana hair. I made this chart off of my best judgment after buying the Sangria, Chestnut Black, Darkest Expresso, and Dark Hazelnut colors.

Source: Going Natural: How to Fall in Love with Nappy Hair by Mireille Liong-A-Kong

What is your favorite Havana hair color?




Friday, March 13, 2015

5 Do’s and Don’ts of Braid Extensions

by Natural Hair Rules

It’s widely believed that braid extensions help to “grow” hair, which in part can be true. While they are certainly a great protective style that helps you retain length, here are 5 Do’s and Don’ts of Braid Extensions to keep in mind:

1. Braids don’t “make” or “promote” hair growth instead they help with length retention.  Every time you style and detangle there’s a risk of breakage.  It just happens. When your hair is braided, you dodge the risk of mechanical breakage from manipulation.  This is why braids are a great protective style.

2. Wearing Braids Long-Term (more than 4-6 weeks without touch-ups) Can Decrease Length Retention. “Six weeks is the maximum I would recommend [leaving in extensions],” says Natural Hairstylist Diane Bailey. For many this is around the time that the hair begins to lock or mat.  Leaving them in longer makes it difficult to detangle. It’s also good to throughly clean your hair and scalp without the extension to prevent infection and other conditions of the scalp.


My Fair Hair Suggestion: I would advise not keeping extensions longer than 3 weeks at a time for optimum hair health.


3. For those who have sensitive and thinning edges, you have a higher chance of experiencing traction alopecia or increased hair loss in those areas.  Its best that you avoid any and all tugging and tightness in this area.  This is a concern if you continuously wear braids back to back without any breaks. If you already have an issue with thinning or sensitive edges braid extensions may not be the best thing for your hair.

Read: Oils Best for Regrowing Thinning Edges

4. Keep Them Loose. During my last trip to the braiding salon there were so many beautiful braided styles being created around me. But I couldn’t help but notice that many of these women were victims of traction alopecia. If you feel that your hair is being pulled too tightly kindly ask your stylist to reduce the tension that is being applied.

Read Prevent and Treat Female Pattern Baldness 

5. I know they look pretty but the small teeny braids (micros) put a lot of tension on the hair. This isn’t to say that you can never wear micro braids if you want, but constantly wearing them may lead to thinning hair rather than healthy length retention. Plus, its not fun taking all those tiny braids down. Which if you don’t have the patience, micro braids might not be for you. In order for your protective styling to be beneficial it must protect your hair and scalp from breakage. Otherwise, if you rough house with your hair, all of the length that you retained can easily break off.


What are your tips for wearing braid extensions?

Photo credit: Instagram


Suffering from Alopeica (Hair Loss)? Unsure of which type? Read about Traction Alopecia HERE and CCCA Alopecia HERE.


Thursday, March 12, 2015

Humectants, Weather and Hair Care: Part 1



A re-post for those confused about glycerin and humidity as spring approaches!

Changes in weather require modifications to your hair care regimen in order to keep you hair looking and feeling at its best. But how do you know what you should use and when? This article will serve as the foundation for what you need to understand in order to choose the correct products for your hair in any season. This requires a good understanding of humectants: how they work, their purpose and how they are relevant to hair.

Read More >>

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Lookbook: Mini Twists with Spring and Summer Outfits and Accessories

With spring and summer right around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about what natural hairstyles to wear and how to pair them with chic, professional outfits and accessories for work, church, and special occasions. Today’s lookbooks do just that!







Floral prints and pastel, cool colors like blue and beige are in season. Also, bright yellows like canary yellow can be paired with blue and beige to add a terrific color “pop” that brings out the best in each color, creating truly radiant looks.

The natural hairstyle of choice is Mini Twists. Mini Twists are similar to twists in that they are a protective natural hairstyle that are created by twisting two strands of hair together. The main difference is that Mini Twists are styled smaller, creating a long-term hairstyle that can be worn daily. 

Mini Twists are ideal for all hair types, especially 4c hair or coarse hair.

WATCH this video and read this blog post to learn about how to make your own Mini Twists (as shown in the images above) with a tutorial by blogger VeePeeJay.

Accessories… accessories! You can’t complete the look without them. Pair these looks with ornate hand-painted earrings like these by Living Queens or a large floral hair clip like this one by Flowers from Fatima.

You’ll look chic!

How will you dress for spring?


Want more? Stay tuned… I’ll be posting more lookbooks for Mini twists this month!


Monday, March 2, 2015

Flat Twist Out Cocoon Technique Natural Hairstyle

The flat twist out cocoon technique create a volumous, curly natural hair look. The technique is very similar to Flat Twist Bantu Knot Outs. Watch the video below to learn how to achieve the "cocoon" technique.

As seen on Curlynikki.com

Flat Twist Out Cocoon Technique Tutorial

Toxic Chemicals in Brazilian Blowout and Other Salon Products Increase Risk of Cancer

Thinking of getting the popular hairstyle known as the Brazilian Blowout? Think twice after reading about its adverse health affects.



Bloody noses. Blistering rashes. Piercing migraines. These are just a few of the symptoms veteran hairstylist Jennifer Arce experienced after she was diagnosed with chemical poisoning by her physician. The source? A product millions of women use to straighten their hair every day: Brazilian Blowout.


Arce, a stylist in San Diego for more than 18 years, used the experience to organize other affected colleagues to take their stories to California lawmakers and the Food and Drug Administration. Brazilian Blowout has since been banned in the state, but similar hair smoothing products also containing carcinogenic formaldehyde remain on the market. Her next step is distributing a new fact sheet from Women’s Voices for the Earth (WVE) to salon workers and clients. The fact sheet describes chemicals to avoid in hopes more salons will choose to go green for the health of their customers and stylists.

“Many of my colleagues have been bullied, threatened physically and threatened to be fired for speaking up about being sick or for not wanting their clients exposed to toxic formaldehyde,” Arce said. “Many of us don’t have health insurance. Our health and our livelihoods are being taken away from us and we are not going to let this happen without a fight.”

“We hope the fact sheet will educate consumers and workers and inspire them to work for change at the policy level,” explained Erin Switalski, WVE’s executive director. “Salon products are exempt from ingredient labeling requirements, limiting the availability of this important information on chemical exposure, so we are trying to fill in the gaps.”

Like many products containing toxic chemicals, what’s considered good enough for American consumers is banned in the European Union. A recent study by RAPEX, an EU regulatory body, discovered nine keratin hair smoothing products containing high levels of formaldehyde, which resulted in their removal from European markets.  Yet they remain widely available in the U.S., and several of the products are falsely touted “formaldehyde-free.”

Under current federal regulations, it is legal for cosmetics manufacturers to use unlimited amounts of virtually any ingredient in salon and professional use products, as well as those sold to the general public, including chemicals linked to cancer, reproductive and developmental harm, hormone disruption and other adverse health impacts, with no pre-market safety assessment.


A growing body of scientific evidence indicates there is reason for concern, showing hairdressers are at increased risk of cancers of the lung, larynx, bladder and multiple myeloma compared to the general population. One study has shown that nail salon workers have higher levels of di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP), a reproductive and developmental toxicant, than the general population.

Another study found that beauticians and hairdressers are likely to have significant exposure to solvents that are linked to birth defects. Other studies have found cosmetologists are at a higher risk for having spontaneous abortions and low birth weight babies.

As for Arce, she’s considering switching careers. She doesn’t want to stop being a stylist—she loves helping her longtime clients look and feel their best, but her health can’t withstand the constant exposure.

Visit EcoWatch’s HEALTH page for more related news on health topics.

Ladies and stylists, what has been your experience with the Brazilian Blowout?