Wash Day: When keepin’ it real goes wrong …

Wow! I am overdue for a hair post! Here’s a quickie! Things have been so busy lately and I have just neglected my poor blog (which I am known to do from time to time!) I must confess that I drove 4.5 hours one way this weekend to the Lululemon outlet halfway between Seattle and Canada! It was totally worth it and I will do it again every three months!! When they heard that I started driving at 4:45am to get to the store at opening, they treated me like a queen! Anything I needed, they got me! A lovely lady even price matched a jacket for me … knocking $30 of the price just because I drove so far!

Enough of the Lululemon talk! Ok! So here is last week’s Wash Day at the gym. I pre-pooed with coconut oil, conditioner and safflower oil for 7 minutes in the steam room. For some reason, I just wasn’t feeling the 110 degrees last week! I washed as normal and conditioned in the shower. I deep conditioned with L’Oreal Total Repair 5 Damage Erase balm and sat in the steam room for 5 minutes. I will definitely sit longer next time and bring a turban. It was so hot in there, I thought my hair would disintegrate since I had it down! I detangled and headed home to apply my leave-ins.

When I got home, I rewetted my hair and applied my normal leave-ins and decided to let my hair really air dry instead of doing the faux air dry method.

Boy, did I  get some different results! My hair felt a lot thicker, but that is because my hair shrank up more from air drying that it does when I sit under the dryer! Also, my hair had about 10 different textures going on, as you can see in the close up! Some hair was shriveled up, while some hung loser. It made me look like I had a chewed up hairline! I immediately thought about the Dave Chappelle skit “When keepin’ it real goes wrong!”

HAHAHAH! Well, I wore it in a ponytail and bun this past week anyways, so it is all good! Here are a few of the photos that I captured!

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Wash Day and potential change in them!

Greetings everyone before yoga class!

I wanted to do a quick Wash Day post, which I haven’t done in a while! Honestly, if you read one Wash Day post from me, you have read them all, but I did something a bit different today, so I thought I would share!

I joined the gym in our town that has a steam room, so for my pre-poo, I slathered some cheapie conditioner (I think Vidal Sassoon’s moisture line) and sat in the steam room for about 10 minutes! Honey, sitting in a steam room that is 110 degrees for 10 minutes is about equivalent to sitting under a dryer for 5 hours! I have been debating getting a steamer, but have put it off because of my potential move and storage space. Now, I don’t have to! Majority of my hair is low porosity, meaning that I need heat and steam to open up my cuticles and force the product in. If I don’t, then product just sits on it, never really absorbing it. I have been doing homemade steam treatments since the beginning of my journey and it is nice to be able to reap the advantages of full on steam treatments! Even my skin feels and looks better!

I came home, rinsed it out and washed with my GVP Tea Tree shampoo and Alterna Caviar Volume. I deep conditioned with my Silk Elements Kera Minerals for 30 minutes with heat and 90 without (I fell asleep!) I rinsed with cool, did my Roux for 2 minutes, then final rinsed with cold water. My leave-ins were: Alterna Photo Age Defense, Alterna Caviar Texture, Pureology Colour Fanatic and Carol’s Daughter Monoi Serum. I did the faux air drying method and sat under the dryer for 20 minutes.

We were going out to dinner last night, so I wanted to wear my hair in a high bun. I remembered that I had a donut that I tried to use about 18 months ago and my hair would not cover it, so I just threw it under the sink, waiting for the day that my hair was long enough to cover it. I found the donut, used it as directed and pinned my hair around it, creating a neat, high bun. I thought it was quite nice and polished! I would have had Nathan take pictures, but I didn’t want him to see me while I was getting dressed, so I took some selfies in the mirror!

So the change in Wash Day is … I think I may start doing them at the gym! Yes! Weird huh, but I think using the steam room for my pre-poo treatments and deep conditioners will be a great idea! It will also cut down on the time it takes me to do Wash Days. No more sitting under the dryer for 4o minutes to an hour to ensure my hair has absorbed the conditioning treatment, as 10-15 minutes in the steam room for the pre-poo and deep conditioner will definitely do it. My first gym Wash Day will be next week, so stay tuned for that one!

Ok, here are some pictures. The first set is my hair after I left the steam room! My hair swells, then dries to form these little waves. The second set is my high bun with the donut.

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Until next time! 🙂

P.S. Just in case you were wondering what I wore, I wore my French Connection Stripe Dress – Kiren 3/4 sleeve with some burgundy Jessica Simpson leather booties and some black stockings! Not to toot my own horn, but when I wore this dress back in NC, it was a headturner, for sure! This skinny girl does it noooooooo justice! One of my guy friends (who is as gym-crazy as me) told me that me in this dress inspired one of our other girl friends to get back in shape! I do what I can! 😉

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How I Salvaged Frizzy, Limp Hair!

Happy New Years from Canada everyone! Nathan and I decided to go north of the border for some much needed R-n-R, partying and sightseeing. I must say, Vancouver is a beautiful city with plenty of shopping, massages and fine eateries (my favorite things!) They even have Church’s Fried Chicken, which is something pitiful Oregon can’t even muster up!! And my favorite thing about this city is that I can find Five Alive juice. That was my staple breakfast drink for over 20 years, until I stopped seeing it around 2007. I am about to buy about 7 cartons and take them over the border!!!

So anyhoo, I did my Wash Day this past Sunday. I did a pre-poo of coconut oil, cheapie conditioner and safflower oil for 45 minutes with heat. I washed as normal, did a deep conditioner with L’Oreal Total Repair 5 and Silk Elements MegaSilk for an hour with heat. I applied my normal leave-ins and roller sat. I did use some setting foam for each section of hair rolled, which made my hair kinda stick together when I was dry, giving the illusion of thin hair. Next time, I will use the foam on a mohawk section basis. As you may know, my hair struggles to hold curls in the presence of moisture, so I am having to use product to help my hair hold better. After my hair was dry, I blew out my roots, applied Alterna Bamboo Anti-Breakage Thermal Protectant spray to smooth each section and applied my sponge rollers. I kept these in about 24 hours and took them down for our dinner Monday night.

Fast forward till Tuesday afternoon. After a brief period out in the elements, my hair was defeated by the moisture and became frizzy, which was complete devastation to the nation since we had a NYE party to go to that night! I thought about flat-ironing my hair, but I decided to try something else to breathe some life into my lank roller set … and it worked!

One side of hair already rolled up with frizzed, lank hair on the other side.

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1. Section hair off in small parts and detangle each section.

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2. Applied a small amount of Alterna Bamboo Anti-Breakage Heat Protectant, starting with the ends. It has an almost dry serum feel to it, despite water being the first ingredient. The dry feel of the product is beneficial when you don’t want a liquidy product that can encourage additional frizzing. While applying, I made sure to apply tension to the hair to stretch it out. I sealed with a small drop of Carol’s Daughter Monoi serum.

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3. I put in my satin rollers by adding tension as I rolled … essentially doing roll-roll-pull like I do with my magnetic rollers. Again, this helps stretch and smooth the hair out.

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4. Repeat until entire head is done. Cover with satin or silk scarf and let sit as long as desired.

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The results were great! I took the rollers out, applied serum to my hands to prevent frizz and pick the curls apart for beautiful volume. The theme of the party was the Great Gatsby which took place in the 20s and wasn’t a soul rocking a blow out back then!! My curls were on point! Too bad I left my sequin and feather dress AT HOME and had to buy another one (of course not as extravagant as the one I had!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) UGH!

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I am so glad that I did not reach for the flat iron and decided to take a chance with this method. Honestly, most of the sections of hair sprang back to life after detangling and having the Alterna Bamboo product applied.

Didn’t I tell you how much I loved these satin pillow rollers??

I’m Going Low-Manipulation For A While …

Happy Friday before Christmas everyone!

I just wanted to share the results of my first week of faux air-dried hair and plans for going low-manipulation for a while! (Note: faux air dry is referring to when I sit under my dryer with the front of my hair tied with a scarf and the length is left hanging while it dries. It normally takes me about 20 minutes to be completely dry).

As you may have read, last week’s salon debacle was a complete #fail. The mishandling of my hair teamed with the lack of conditioning and horrible roller set made me rethink how I wanted to structure this relaxer stretch. I really feel that my hair suffered and wanted to use this stretch to rejuvenate it. Last Sunday, I had to do an abbreviated Wash Day that consisted of a pre-poo/tea rinse, deep conditioner and faux air drying session to give my hair some much-needed moisture after I noticed my hair was dry and tangling at the ends, which would have probably led to breakage throughout the week. I initially worried about how my ends would react to being faux air-dried. In the past, I have noticed an increase in breakage when my hair is styled this way, so I was extra vigilant about monitoring breakage while M&Sing this week.

I am pleased to announce that my hair did very well and I noticed no more breakage than if my hair was roller set (which is a few pieces during the week)! WOO-HOO! Maybe it is the Carol’s Daughter Monoi Serum, maybe it’s me using the protein leave-ins at each Wash Day … but whatever it is, I am loving it!

With that being said, I have decided to dedicate this relaxer stretch to faux air drying (except when we go on winter vacation in a few weeks and when I go home to NC in a month). I think the break from being roller set each week will be a welcomed occurrence for both me and my hair! I will also be doing more tea rinses to help combat shedding. This will allow my hair to thicken back up for the spring. My hair grows the fastest during the winter and spring, so I am trying to capitalize on every inch I can get! #waistlength2014

I will monitor my hair and if I see my hair is not responding well to being faux air dried, then I will start roller setting again to preserve length … but for now, let’s see how this goes! Hooray for reducing Wash Days by 3 hours!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My next Wash Day will be Sunday, where I plan on doing a tea rinse in addition to my normal pre-poo and deep conditioning sessions. 🙂

 

Salon Fail, Plans for Upcoming Relaxer Stretch and Length Check (UPDATE!)

I probably should have broken these down into 2 posts, but whatevs … let’s get right to it!

Salon Fail

Yesterday I went and got my Redken Shades EQ put on again. I got it done in March of this year and loved it! Even thought it was a demi-permanent color, I can tell it gave me some lovely red tones that have lasted up until now. The application of the demi-permanent color also helped my porous ends, which was presented to me by less breakage.

Anyhoo, all went well until the roller set. Normally she will blow my hair out, but since I just used direct heat last week, that was not an option. Instead of wetting my hair with each roller application (I would have stood for wetting my hair in the 3 sections!!!), she detangled and combed hair with a rattail comb while it was half dry, which can increase breakage! I wanted to say something, but I didn’t! I know, I know .. I should have spoken up! The rollers weren’t placed in a methodical way … just whatever way the fit in. Needless to say, I was not pleased. I took me about an hour to dry, probably because half my hair was already air-dried 80% when I got under the dryer with my rollers. She took them down, shook my curls out and sent me on my way. To add insult to injury, she only took the discount off one salon service (the color) when I thought it was the total bill. It was $62+ tip! Nope, nope, nope! This is why I don’t get down with stylists on a regular basis any more! I felt that my hair was not treated with the utmost care and the results were subpar! I can get subpar results at home for free!!!!! Additionally, my hair was not deep conditioned and I can totally tell by the feel of it today. Honestly, unless I am going to get a flat iron, I won’t be going back to that salon. I can apply my Clairol Colorgloss at  home as well as do horrible rollersets. Lesson learned! When I got home, I just wanted to scream! I just knew that my hair was thinner (I wouldn’t want to know how much hair I actually lost), it felt dry and when I combed the hair out, it just fell flat. I was tempted to wash and re-roll it, but I thought better of it! I immediately applied some moisturizer and serum  and put in my satin rollers to try to salvage it!

This leads us into my next segment …

Relaxer Stretch Plans

My next relaxer will be in mid-March 2014, when I am 14 weeks post. I do not plan on using direct heat and continuing my regimen to mitigate any damage done by my trip to the salon yesterday (can you say “thicken?”) Winter is the time that my hair grows the fastest, so I will try to maximize my length retention. I will be going home next month and I am deciding whether I want to go to my old salon and get me a $10 roller set (of course I will pre-poo before)! I still have 5 weeks to make up my mind!

Length Check

Since my roller set turned out quite crappy and I had to roll on satin rollers (which makes curls tight), I couldn’t get a full length check shot, so I thought I would stretch a piece of hair so you can see where it’s at!

That long part is trying to graze my waist! Hopefully I will be there by May!!! I am almost scared to straighten my hair and see my hemline due to the rough handling at the salon! Needless to say, I will be rocking curly styles for a while … just to give other hairs time to catch up! 🙂

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UPDATE!

So around 5:20pm this afternoon I was about to tie my hair up for the evening and while detangling I noticed that my hair was shedding! It was not too bad, but it was not normal for me on the day after a roller set. Between the shedding, the dryness and the anger I had towards my hair, I decided that I needed to do a quick Wash Day. I was not going to see what happened to my hair as the week progressed. I did a coconut pre-poo with safflower oil and cheapie conditioner. To combat shedding, I added a tea rinse to my scalp and hair and sat under the dryer for about 20 minutes. I co-washed with my Ion Conditioner Wash sample pack and did an in-shower conditioning treatment with my Alterna Caviar conditioner. I did a deep conditioner with L’Oreal Total Repair 5 for 25 minutes. I did a final rinse with Roux for 1 minute. My leave-ins were as normal.

I did the faux air dry method where I tied my hair back with a scarf and let it hang. I think I may do these for the next few weeks, depending on how the breakage this week goes. When it comes to breakage, my hair prefers to be roller set, but I think my hair could use a manipulation break for a while!

Here are a few pictures. The end result was not that bad … I still have a rather full hemline and my hair still has some thickness to it, so all was not ruined yesterday. I think that I will be incorporating tea rinses into my regimen for a little while, to combat shedding. Sorry they came out blurry and it appears there are some gaps in my hemline … there isn’t, it is just how the grainy self-portrait came out!

 

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Relaxer Day!!!!!!!

I must admit, this relaxer day came fast! I don’t know if it was the ease of this stretch (I was 14 weeks post and normally I relax around 12-13 weeks) or the fact that the fall has flown by, but before I knew it, it was time to relax! Due to the fact that I need to cook and get ready for a week-long work trip, I will make this quick and dirty!

This is the first time Kim has not done my relaxer since May 2012! I was going to self-relax, but at the last minute I decided to ask my friend Tracie to help me out! I am still a bit chicken about applying such a chemical to my hair!

So here’s how Relaxer Day went:

Friday night, I applied vitamin E oil and Softee coconut grease to my ends and pigtailed my hair in six sections so that my hair wouldn’t be tangled. I did a good job keeping my hair detangled this week so I wouldn’t have any problems come relaxer day! I put on my satin bonnet and went to sleep. I also laid out all the things that I would need for my relaxer.

I did get a good chuckle out of the Softee coconut ingredients list! They have the nerve to tell people that this stuff is moisturizing? Not a drop of water insight! I will say that the smell took me back to childhood! I loved the smell of coconut grease!

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Saturday morning, I applied the Softee coconut grease to my scalp and edges. Tracie said I laid it on so thick that there were globs of it in my hair! Better to be safe than sorry!

Tracie then applied my Mizani Butter Blends relaxer. It took about 25 minutes from first application until I rinsed. The good thing was, I was not burning at all (must have been that coconut grease!!!) I rinsed out the relaxer and then applied my ApHogee 2 minute Keratin Treatment. I put on a warm turban, topped off with a conditioning cap and sat under the dryer for 17 minutes. I rinsed that out, neutralized with shampoo, then applied my Silk Elements Megasilk deep conditioner for about 20 minutes, then final rinsed with Roux.

I know I said I was not going to use direct heat again, but I just didn’t have the energy to roll my hair and sit under a dryer for 2 hours. Besides, we had Christmas photos to take that afternoon and time was already flying by. I had Tracie flat iron it and put in some curls, which I promptly noticed needed dusting, as my ends were looked a little raggedy. With that said, I do not have a length check photo. I plan on roller setting next week so I will try and get one then!

All-in-all, I believe my relaxer took really well and I am happy with the results! It was definitely a bit weird getting my hair relaxed at home (which hasn’t happened in ages)!

In lieu of hair photos, here are some of our holiday photos!

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Pre-Relaxer Wash Day: Why Can’t These Ever Go Right?

This is the fourth and final Pre-Relaxer Wash Day of 2013! You know this is the time when I: Clean, Strengthen and Hydrate!

Unfortunately, these Pre-Relaxer Wash Days have not gone right all year! In February, my hair was so tangled and matted after deep conditioning that I had to spend 35 painful minutes detangling it. In May, the end result of my hair was so oily after deep conditioning with hemp seed oil that it came out limp and gross. In August, I was just so frustrated with my hair not cooperating during roller setting that I blew it dry without flat ironing, only to have it become brittle and break by the time relaxer day rolled around. To keep with tradition, today’s Wash Day wasn’t that great either, but it definitely was the best I’ve had all year (which is not saying much at all).

I was going to do my relaxer application practice, but it was a total failure. My hair was wayyyyyyy too curly and I would have had to tear through it just to apply it! No bueno!!!! No wonder Kim threatened me about coming for a relaxer after air-drying the week before! I just pre-pooed with the V-05 conditioner I was using for practice for about an hour without heat. All week, I have been wearing my twist out which didn’t fall below my shoulders, so I wanted to stretch the hair out before I hopped in the shower and washed it.

Clean – I clarified my hair with my Alterna Life Solutions Clarifying Shampoo, followed by my Alterna Caviar Volume for moisture replenishment. Both of these shampoos are sulfate free.

Strengthen – I did my ApHogee 2 Step Protein Treatment. Since I abhor their conditioner that they include with it, I just bought the bottle of the protein treatment to use with my own deep conditioner. I applied the treatment and sat under the dryer for 20 minutes while it hardened. I then rinsed it out with warm water and applied my Ion Extreme Moisture Cream for 30 seconds to soften the hair.

Hydrate – I applied my Silk Elements MegaSilk deep conditioner for an hour (45 minutes with heat). I rinsed, followed up with Roux for 1 minute, then rinsed again.

This weekend, I knew that I needed a finished style because I am going to be filming some hair tutorials for a project at work (additional details coming soon!) on Monday, so I decided to roller set. I detangled as normal after applying my leave-ins (the usual ones I use for rollersetting except the Carol’s Daughter Monoi Anti-Breakage Repair Spray since I had done a hard protein tx) and noticed that I was losing a lot of hair in the comb. I noticed a band of strands that came out in the shower, but I chalked it up to me doing zero manipulation to my hair the past week. Even as I used the rattail comb to smooth sections out before rolling, I noticed that I had to clean out the comb after each section of my mohawk because it was full of hair! You know I was almost in a panic! It could be a few things: my hormones (I had to go back to my old birth control pill due to the new one breaking me out and I also starting using progesterone cream to help with menstrual migraines), the weather (I had excessive shedding in December of last year) and like I said, no manipulation in the past week. I have had relatively little shedding the past 2 months, so who knows? I will definitely be monitoring it throughout the week and if it is still going on, I will defer my relaxer until its under control.

I rolled my hair as usual, using the black and gray rollers. I wanted to have had a decent styling session this Pre-Relaxer Wash Day, so I took my time rolling my hair and practiced some much-needed patience. When my hair didn’t want to cooperate or the rollers were not placed right, I calmly corrected it. It took me just under an hour to roll my hair today, which is about 10-12 minutes longer than normal. I also added diluted Lotta Body back into my regimen. During previous Wash Days, I noticed as soon as I comb my curls, they just go straight and flat. I think it was because I used too much moisture while rolling (my leave-ins in addition to my setting mix of glycerin and water) and had no setting lotion. Kim told me that I needed to use some, but I wouldn’t hear it! After all, Gennifer in the roller setting video only used water to set her hair, so that’s what I would do … until I got tired of my hair not holding a curl after spending all day on it! Also, setting lotion helps hair dry faster. I sprayed every section of hair to be rolled with diluted Lotta Body (not sure of the ratio … but it was definitely a lighter blue color).

Well, the Lotta Body helped me have crisper curls, but didn’t really cut down on drying time. I was almost dry at 90 minutes, but I stayed under the dryer for just over 2 hours so I could be sure I was dry. Besides, I was reading a good book which makes dryer time more bearable! I took my hair down and applied a bit of Carol’s Daughter Monoi serum to the curls! The curls felt like they had more staying power than curls of prior weeks, but I couldn’t help that my hair felt thinner due to the amount of hair I lost (see below). I combed the curls out and wow … my hair retained some bend (see photos)! It definitely was a roller setting success! Now I know that I need some setting product in my life! I continued to pull shed hairs down my hemline that hadn’t quite released themselves yet, which annoyed me, but whatevs.

I then wrapped my hair up for the evening! I will capture some “next day hair” photos tomorrow or Monday!

These are the curls as soon as I took them out. Most of my hair was rolled on black rollers. I also took a close-up of my ends, as I was very pleased with how they are holding up this relaxer stretch.

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Hair combed out! A success! Hair still has bend at the ends! Also, notice that ball of yarn hair!!! That doesn’t include the countless stragglers that came out afterwards or in the shower! 

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Wash Day and a Twist Out

Greetings friends! Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend!

Today’s Wash Day was inspired by my friend Tracie who was inspired by Donedo on YouTube. Monday, Tracie came in with big, voluminous curls and I asked where she got the inspiration and she shared this twist out video by Donedo. I was inspired to do a twist out again. Honestly, it has been since Summer 2012 since I have done a twist out so I thought I would give it a shot. Today I also simulated the relaxer application by using some cheap conditioner. I need a few trials to ensure I have the timing and smoothing down pat. I got the relaxer in and smooth in about 15 minutes, which is about 2 minutes under what I normally process at. I will do this again next week to give myself additional practice before my relaxer the first week in December.

Here’s how that looked (sorry, the conditioner pretty much disappeared by this point) … oh well, you can enjoy some new growth!)

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So here’s how Wash Day went down:

Pre-Poo: Coconut oil, safflower oil and cheap conditioner for 1 hr 15 minutes, 40 minutes with heat

Shampoo: Amla Legends Body Filler Wash and Alterna Caviar Volume

In-Shower Conditioning Treatment: Ion Extreme Moisture Cream and Alterna Winter Rx Thermal Oil

Deep Conditioner: L’Oreal Total Repair 5 Balm for 1 hr, 40 minutes with heat, final rinse with Roux

Leave-Ins: Alterna Caviar Photo Age Defense, Alterna Caviar Texture Cream, Carol’s Daughter Monoi Anti-Breakage Spray and Carol’s Daughter Monoi Sacred Strengthening Serum

After detangling as normal, I began doing the steps the video showed me. I divided my hair into four quadrants and began twisting in the back. For each twist, I detangled with my fine-tooth comb (like I would if I was roller setting), applied Ion Anti-Frizz Solutions Styling Mist (will do a product review soon!). I twisted 2/3 of the way down, then applied a bit more gel, smoothed by ends, then rolled on the rod. I started in the back, so I did not do flat twists, but across the front, all of my twists were flat. It took me about 50 minutes to twist up my whole head, which is what it takes me to roller set.

I sat under the dryer for an hour and 10 minutes. I was nowhere near dry so I decided that I would have to sleep in them because I did not want to sit under the dryer for 3 hours. Despite me being eager to see the results, it wasn’t all that important! I did take one twist down and saw the end of my hair that I left out was good and curly! My hair also did not feel stiff from the gel. If you notice in the pictures below, you can see where my twists don’t start at the crown. I noticed that Donedo’s didn’t either, and her hair still turned out perfect. Maybe it will work for me!

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I will take and post photos of the finished product tomorrow. Until then, have a great evening!

P.S. Hooray! I finally took advantage of picture gridding!

Next day:

Greetings guys! I got up this morning and took down my twists! Before I took them down, I made sure my twists and hands had serum on them to prevent frizz. I fluffed them a bit and took a look! The curls were perfect! They were springy and bouncy. I really think the gel helped keep them that way. It’s amazing how tight the curls are though! My BSL/MBL length hair is now at neck length! I really wish my hair would stand up into a ‘fro, but I know it won’t!

I pineappled the curls so that they are not hanging down rubbing against things. I am not sure how I plan to wear the curls. I will wear them pinned up or ponytailed. I will take some pictures of the styles I create during the week.

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