To Twist or Not to Twist pt. 2

wpid-PhotoGrid_1390838732344.jpgSo to catch up since the last post, I decided to add Marley Twists to my hair in a completely ill-prepared, unplanned, not-thought-out kind of a way. Also known as last minute. Eh. So how did it go you ask? Quite well if I do say so myself.

I actually started the twists around 3:20 pm. By the time I had completed the first 6, I had also learned my first lesson. The invisible method demonstrated by Breanna Rutter here and Donedo here is way WAY more difficult to keep in than it seems. They promptly slipped out. Second lesson learned, patience grasshopper. So I managed to switch techniques and install 2 1/2 packs of hair with out significant problems. I took lots of breaks to nurse, eat, walk around, watch movies, really I took breaks because twisting this much hair is just boring. at 10:59 pm I was dipping the rolled ends into hot water to curl them. That was that. By Tuesday another twist slipped out. But I just put it right back in. End of story.

Yes, I like them. The first two days, I wore them up in a top know. I quickly realized that single digit weather and no hat is disastrous so today, they are in a low ponytail as to accommodate a hat.

Are they heavy? Yes. I have added a significant amount of new materiel to the top of my head so yep, it is heavy. For me that is kinda like asking did getting earring hurt. Yes they did, sharp metal pushed through one’s anatomy tend to bring pain. However, It is not unreasonable. I don’t find that i must try to balance my head to keep it from lolling to one side.

How much did this endeavor cost? The hair cost a whooping $7 a bag. I only  used 2.5 bags.  So for me, self-installing is totally worth the savings.

How long will I leave them in? No more than 4 weeks as I run the risk of starting locs at that time and that isn’t the path I am walking.

So here is the skinny:

Type of hair used:wpid-20140202_173658.jpgSensationnel Synthetic hair Braids Braid Now Reggae Braid (MARLEY BRAID) (1B)

Type of roller used:

How I installed them:

  1. I separated a row and clipped all other hair out of the way.
  2. I separated a section to be twisted and slipped the rest of the row out of the way.
  3. Added moisturizer to the section and then covered that with coconut oil.
  4. Followed by a castor oil mix to seal it all being sure to cover the ends well.
  5. Next, was a bit of EcoStyler Olive Oil Gel ( I don’t know that you really need this one but I used it).
  6. I then took a pre-separated section of Marley hair and fluffed it. By fluffing, I mean I gently pulled it apart from one end to the other. Not completely apart, just enough to make it fluffier.
  7. I found the center of said hair
  8. wrap it around my hair section (creating three pieces)
  9. and began to braid. I stopped after my hair ended up in the center braiding section twice.
  10. While my hair was in the center, I split it in two, combined each split section with the Marley sections and began to twist.
  11. Once my entire head was completed, I used cold wave rollers on the ends and dipped them into boiling hot water. Please remove water from the hot stove prior to dipping. It is best to put the water in a bowl on a solid, flat surface.
  12. Let dry and style!

To Twist or Not to Twist

So I have been getting frustrated with the whole long term transitioning thing. I got the last relaxer touch-up back at the end of June 2013. The mess I call hair, requires weekly ‘doing’. Doing equals manipulation. Manipulation equals breakage. Natural hair that meets up with relaxed hair equals breakage. The prescription shampoo I use for itchiness is very drying. Drying equals breakage. That means I must consistently adhere to a routine of protein (about every 4 weeks) and deep moisturizing conditioner (weekly).

Let me clarify. All the pre-poo, sealing, conditioning, drying shampoo, protein-ing, deep conditioning and then finally styling takes up the majority of one of my two days off. The other day is a day of child wrangling. Yes, I do a lot too my hair even before I shampoo. Suffice it to say. I can’t just be still on my day off. I mean, as still as a Mommy of four (one of whom is a mere 9 months) can be.

I am always full of ideas. Not all will come to fruition. Not all are steeped in reality. Not all make sense for the situation at hand. But there is this one idea. Marley Twists. I have YouTubed it from every angle. Read every blog I could find about them. I have spoken to a hair professional. I believe I can do them… myself. She didn’t agree. She highly encouraged I visit a braiding professional. I explained that my frugal nature would not let me spend ooh-gobs for hair and then pays someone uber-gobs to twist them. Did I mention that two of my kiddos are teenagers? Teenagers pack away food like the will run out of it.

So, I now have more Marley hair than the law should allow. Did I mention that even with all that researching, I didn’t plan on actually doing them. It is 2:16 pm and I have shampooed. It was time for a protein treatment, so hear I sit with ApHogee hardening in my hair. Still must deep condition and dry. And then I can get started. Installing them could easily take 8 hours. Eh. Pray for me.

Why, you ask, am I experimenting with Marleys? First, I need a break. Marley Twists will allow me to shampoo and moisturize my hair without having to manipulate it. I won’t have to do more than pin it up, cover it up or let it down for four weeks. Second, it is by far one of the coldest winters we have seen in my neck of the woods in quite a while. My hair need some protection and Marleys qualify as just that. Third, I have convinced myself and ‘The Marine’ (who would prefer that anything other than hair I grow out of my head be left alone) that the only alternative is to chop it off. This path is less drastic. Fourth, if I really don’t like it, I can just take it out. Fifth, the hair is washable and reusable. This is reassuring. Although in truth, I have way more packs of hair than I will need this year.

Til later lovelies.

Have you tried Marley Twists or any other extended protective style?

How did you like it?

Protective Styling – Transitioners Dilema

Protective Style: The Halo

Protective Style: The Halo

It is kinda sorta winter. The Winter equinox was this past Saturday. It snowed on three separate occasions the week before last. There was shoveling involved. Yet, temperatures actually reached 70 degrees this weekend. So what on earth do we call that. Nonetheless, I have hair to concern myself with.

It seems that protective styling is the thing to do if you want to keep your ends attached to the rest of the hair shaft, some real level of moisture and gain length. What is protective styling, you ask? Good. So it isn’t just me. The most helpful info I found came from CurlyNikki’s 101 post and Napturally Curly’s Do’s And Dont’s. Using a relaxer, I had never heard of this unicorn call protective styling. So I Googled it and a few days later, I had an idea of what it used for but not how to do it on hair that is straight on the ends, coily curly at the roots, fragile and heck and getting shorter by the day.

What I have learned from countless hours of YoutTube and Google is this:

  • Hair doesn’t define me
  • Hair Typing is helpful to a degree but my hair and your hair are still very different beasts
  • Very few women have always loved their hair and even fewer have never had to struggle with their hair
  • Hair envy is not productive to loving yourself
  • HAVE FUN. It is only hair.
  • Some little girl is looking to you as her inspiration, she wants her hair to be like yours (teach her that her hair is beautiful too)

Oh, and I learned some actual styling and care stuff too:

  • Protective styling is moisturizing then tucking those ends, low manipulation (not touching, combing, handling the hair) very often, and different on everyperson
  • Protective styling can be simple and elegant
  • Deep Conditioning Moisture treatments are essential  on the weekly/biweekly basis
  • Transitioning hair is prone to breakage at the line of demarcation. You know, where the straight and coily curly hair meet.
  • Transitioning hair needs protein monthly
  • Protein treatments should be immediately followed by Moisture treatment
  • Your hair will undoubtedly need something different from my hair

So here is what I have been doing in my effort to protect my hair from going down the drain. And I totally mean going down the drain.

I sleep in a satin bonnet, on a satin pillowcase. This is not new to me. The pillowcases were purchased years ago from Burlington for about $3. I started using them after I read somewhere that they may reduce the chance of wrinkles!!! Sold!

I steam up may bathroom with every shower so that my hair gets a bit of moisture. I then seal in the moisture using a heavy oil blend while still steaming lol. I also tend to slather coconut or olive oil over my skin while still wet because winter weather will rob your skin of moisture too.

So far, a flat twist halo is my primary protective go to style. I haven’t been able to recreate a lot of other styles as of yet. It is relatively easy and involves one continuous or two flat twist on either side of my head that meet up together. I do need to use hair and bobby pins to secure it but it is easy to do and easy to manage. I like easy.

Stay warm and protected my lovelies.

What is your go to Protective Style?