Preparing & Maintaining Braids/Twists Extensions


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From the start of my natural hair journey, my favourite protective style has always been box braids. Especially in the summer when I’m on my holiday break, box braids are definitely my go-to style. They’re a great way to protect your strands, help with growth and of course gives you more time in the morning/evening. Come on, who wants to waste time detangling, twisting and styling when they’ve got a holiday to enjoy. Not me that’s who.

Braiding has many benefits but lets not forget about the downsides to this protective style. Braids can cause damage, breakage and in some cases alopecia. To avoid making the common mistakes, so many women make when wearing braids. I’ve listed some helpful tips on getting the most out of you style.

 

// BEFORE

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Deep Condition

Before you consider installing braids/twist extensions, please ensure that your hair and scalp are healthy enough to handle the extra weight and tension from the braids. 

In preparation I would suggest doing a protein treatment followed by a moisturising deep condition, at least twice before installing your braids/twists.

It’s also important to solve any scalp issues such as dryness, dandruff, itchy scalp, any fungal infections etc. These may weaken your hair and lead to damage and breakage.

Mo's Deep condition routine:

Apply your deep conditioner evenly throughout wet hair after shampooing, place hair under a plastic cap/plastic bag and apply moderate heat for 30 minutes, then rinse thoroughly. For an added super boost of moisture, shine and softness, try adding a tablespoon of honey and a tablespoon of natural oil (e.g. extra virgin olive oil, jojoba, coconut, argan etc) to your deep conditioning treatment before you apply it to your hair.

// DURING

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Moisturising

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Please don’t forget that the hair underneath your braids still needs love and attention. The same way that you moisturise your hair when they’re out, you need to ensure that your hair is moisturised whilst in your braids. To keep your hair from getting too dry, use a liquid moisturiser or braid spray twice a day.

Mo’s moisturiser of choice:
I tend to use my homemade moisturiser spritz, as it’s a great way of penetrating the braids and getting to my actual hair. It also helps to prevent build up on my braids, especially at the root.

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Cleansing

Washing your braid/twist extensions is a must. It’s important to the health of your hair and scalp to remove product build-up, residue and sweat. There are so many different ways to wash your braids but I’ve found the following regime to be the most successful for me…

  • Section braids into four sections
  • Find a plastic container/jar, add your favourite shampoo then some water until it’s watery enough for easy application.
  • Within each section, apply the diluted shampoo to you scalp and rub gently to lift the dirt from your scalp. Make sure you use your finger tips and NOT your nails.
  • Pour the remaining diluted shampoo over your head and squeeze your braids to ensure that the shampoo penetrates and cleans your hair inside.
  • Once done run your head under the water until it rinses clean. 
  • Apply your leave-in conditioner of choice. Alternatively if you feel your hair needs extra moisture you could use your conditioner/deep conditioner. Use the same method as the shampoo and mix your conditioner with water in a plastic container/jar. Rinse thoroughly as conditioners/deep conditioners tend to be thick and could cause build-up.
  • Whilst your braids are still banded, use your towel to remove the excess water. Once they’re about 50% dry, remove your bands and then gently finger detangle if you have loose/feathered ends. 

Mo’s leave-in conditioner of choice:

Creme of Nature Argan Oil - Strength and Shine Leave-In Conditioner

// AFTER

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Take Down

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When taking down your braids the key if to ensure that you hold on to as much of your new growth as possible. I find the easiest way of getting the hair out of the braids to make sure that the hair is as slippery and moist as possible. Try the following method for making your take down as stress free as possible…

  • About 15 minute’s prior to take down, spritz your braids (focusing mainly on the first few inches) with a water, conditioner (you probably won’t want to waste your favourite conditioner for this) and oil(s).
  • Once you have cut your braids,  remove the remaining braids by using your fingers to minimise breakage.
  • To remove the block of dirt, spray your conditioner mix on that top area where the braid first meets your hair, to loosen up the dirt.
  • Take your time and slowly pull the hair apart, little by little to remove the dirt from the hair.
  • Once the dirt is out, detangle that section of the hair right away to avoid tangles.
  • Then follow up with a shampoo and apple cider vinegar rinse (this is optional) to ensure that your hair and scalp are thoroughly cleansed.
  • Oh and of course a deep condition is a must.

 

Happy braiding

x

 

How do you prepare and maintain your braid/twist extensions?

 

10 Protective Hairstyles for Natural Hair


Autumn is officially here, so it's time to protect your strands from the change in the weather. Check out these helpful videos on how to style your hair in cooler weather conditions.

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1/ Pump It Up Pin Up

Description / Make one big cornrow going up from the nape of the neck to the crown. Braid the section at the front to your hairline then gather loose hair with a rubber band and roll to create a pompadour.

Tools / Comb + clip + bobby pins + rubber band.

Hair Length / Medium/Long

Great for /  Date Night/Evening out/Partying

 

2/ Curly Fro Updo

Description / Roll, tuck, and pin the back of your hair while leaving the curly afro unleashed in front.

Tools / Perm rods + afro pick + bobby pins

Hair Length / Short/Medium

Great for /  Work

 

3/ Half Up Bun, Half Down

Description / Half up half down hair tutorial for naturally curly hair which features a top knot bun with the back hanging down.

Tools / Hair band + hair pins

Hair Length / Medium/Long

Great for /  Evening out/Partying

 

4/ Cornrow and Twist Updo

Description / French braid (cornrow) to create an upward braid in the back and a two strand twist at the top/front.

Hair Length / Medium/Long

Tools / Your fingers only

Great for /  Every day

 

5/ Easy Pinless Updo

Description / Easy updo style for locs using a hair band only. 

Hair Length / Long

Tools / Hair band

Great for /  Every day look

 

6/ Simple, Chic & Retro Style

Description / Using a low pony tail, create a donut bun. Then lightly twist the hair and pin up until desired shape is achieved. 

Hair Length / Medium/Long

Tools / Hair band + bobby pins

Great for /  Work/Evening out/Partying

 

7/ Double Sided Braid/Cornrow

Description / An easy protective style which is created with two braids/cornrows, one on either side of the head.

Hair Length / Short/Medium

Tools / Comb

Great for /  Every day 

 

8/ Simple Up-do

Description / A quick and easy, low manipulation hairstyle which is created with high bun and front twisted pompadour.

Hair Length / Short/Medium

Tools / Brush + bobby pins + hair bands

Great for /  Work

 

9 / Stylish Updo for Locs, Twists and Braids 

Description / This is a cute and simple protective hairstyle that can be done on locs, twists, and braids

Hair Length / Short/Medium

Tools / Brush + bobby pins

Great for /  Work/Evening out

 

10/ High Pompadour with Style

Description / A simple but stylish hairstyle with a difference.  Roll, tuck, and pin the back of your hair to the crown. Take small sections of the front of your hair and create 3 two strand twists. Then lightly twist the hair and pin up until desired shape is achieved. 

Tools / Wide tooth comb + bobby pins

Hair Length / Medium/Long

Great for /  Evening out/Partying

 

What have you been doing to protect your hair this autumn? Share your comments below.

Hair Talk / Noémie Dufay


Tell us your name and where you are from?

My name is Noémie Dufay, I’m 20 and I live in France.  Both my parents are from the Caribbean. I’ve been natural for over a year now and it's been an awesome journey!

How long have you been natural?

I’ve been natural for one year and 2 months exactly! 

Why did you make the decision to go natural?

I decided to go natural when I realised that I didn’t like the actual look of my relaxed hair. What actually made me relax in it in the first place was the convenience. I thought it would be easier to take care of my hair when relaxed (it happened to be the exact opposite lol). So I started checking out blogs and I fell in love with a couple naturalist's and I big chopped in April 2013. It’s the best decision I’ve taken so far. 

What is your hair type/texture?

I’m not sure what my hair type is. It seems to have difference textures; I would say either 4b or 4c. 

Describe your styling regimen over the course of a week.

For my frohawk, I simply apply some leave-in conditioner and gel to my hair. I then wet it a little, use a brush and then put a hair band on. I also use bobby pins to fix it and then I’m done. For my wash and go’s, I just put my favourite leave-in conditioner on damp hair and then I’m good to go. 

Describe a typical wash day

I usually do wash and go's. I also deep condition my hair once a week, using my favourite deep-conditioner Hair Mayonnaise by DOP. I like to add some olive oil and then I leave it for about an hour. Then I co-wash it, as I don’t use shampoo very often because I’ve realised that it dries out my hair.  I co-wash every 2 days.

What is your favourite go to hairstyle? 

I love doing wash and go's. It’s so easy to do and it looks cute! I also like frohawk's and putting my hair in a puff as well. 

List your top 5 products

  1. Palmers Conditioner (olive oil)
  2. Palmers Olive Oil
  3. DOP Mayonnaise Deep Conditionner
  4. Garnier’s Leave-In
  5. Olive Oil Anti Frizz

Can you recommend any websites/blogs that are great for providing hair advice, styles and inspirations?

I would recommend Alyssa Forever, she has a channel on YouTube and her tutorials are very nice! Also, I would recommend Beautiful Naturelle, she is French but I think some of her videos are translated in English! ;-) 

 

Would you like to share you natural hair story? Contact me here.

 

 

 

Hair Talk / Kasey LeGall


Tell us your name and where you are from?

My name is Kasey LeGall, i'm 26 years old and i live in Leicester. I currently work in recruitment in the Compliance Department.

How long have you been natural?

I've been natural for 9 years and i've had various different styles and colours (so many of them).

Why did you make the decision to go natural?

I was mainly bored of my hairstyle and i found that couldn’t do much with it being relaxed. However I also wanted to move away from the chemicals, hair breakage, re-growth and scalp burn.

What is your hair type/texture?

Even though I have a white British mother, my hair is very thick, course and bushy with both curls and frizz (depends how lazy I am with it). But I’m very fortunate as my hair grows at an extreme rate.

Describe your styling regimen over the course of a week.

I use pins, grips, headbands and scarves to create different looks, but have to keep it fairly professional for work. I had a mohawk at one point but it didn’t go down very well, so i shaved it off. 

Describe a typical wash day

I wash my hair once every 1-2 weeks. I’m very active and go to the gym five times a week, as well as bike everywhere so as you can imagine my hair and scalp gets very sweaty and itchy. At my current length I try not to wash it too much, just a rinse if I start to feel my scalp getting irritable. After washing it I apply Argan oil (a fair amount) and Soft ‘n’ Free styling gel to my hair.

What is your favourite go to hairstyle? 

Pinned sides to give a Mohawk look.

List your top 5 products

  • Argan oil
  • Soft ‘n’ Free Styling gel
  • Aussie Miracle Moist Conditioner
  • Curls Rock by Tigi Catwalk

 

Would you like to share you natural hair story? Contact me here.

4 Great Pompadour Hairstyle Tutorials


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Do you love stylish, easy and low maintenance hairstyles? Well this is just for you! 

Along with twist outs, pompadours (also known as an up-do) are one of my favourite go-to styles. When all else fails the pompadour never lets me down. All you'll need is your fingers, bobby pins, hair clips and you’re good to go.

Check out the videos below for instructions on how to create this fantastic style…

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1 / Janelle Monae inspired up-do 

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2 / Classic Pompadour

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3 / Statement Pompadour 

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4 / Roll, Tuck and Pin

TIP: Make sure your hair is moisturised prior to styling. 

 

What's your favourite go-to style?


Natural Hairstyle / Frohawk


Frohawks are one of my favourite go to styles. They're so easy make after a twist out, as all you need is some hair grips and your time (not much required). 

For those transitioning, frohawks are a great way to blend in the two hair textures. 

My Frohawk

My Frohawk

You Tube has some really good videos on how to achieve a frohawk. One of my favourite vloggers is Iknowlee and she has a great video on how you can achieve this fantastic look.

Check it out. 

What's your favourite go to style?