Phenomenal . . .

Phenomenal . . .
Life, Growth, and Connection (This sunflower was nourished by my hands.) 2010; Photography by Benita Blocker. Please become a follower of this blog.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Intro to the Naked Relaxer System

I attended the Naked Relaxer class on yesterday.  They opened the class up with a prayer.  That's always a good sign!

But on to the technical details, this relaxer system is an (8 minute) time release relaxer designed to give a lot of moisture to the hair. The Naked Keratin Plus Reconstructive Masque is lighter than the Naked Honey and Almond Moisture Whip Conditioner.  So finer hair will benefit from the lighter conditioner. The relaxer itself only comes in one strength along with the sensitive scalp version which the strengths can be adjusted.

The model pictured has wet hair.  The relaxer was completed and neutralized.  The model's hair was flat wrapped with the Naked Max premium foam and dried under the rollaway hair dryer.

 After the model's hair was dried, she received a haircut.

The model's hair was styled using a flat iron to deliver the final finish.

I am not convinced to start carrying this relaxer because this model did not have coarse hair.  I was still unclear as to how much healthier this relaxer is to the other competitors on the market. 

I will continue to use some of the styling products from this line.  I do not have any existing clients that will benefit from this relaxer at this time.

The Bushy Brows and A Moustache Look

I was having a little fun today!  I found the "Big Shot" mask as I was preparing for a yard sale.  

It is amazing how bushy eyebrows and a moustache can change your appearance!  

There was definitely nothing boring about this momentary break!  Have a Great day Everyone! 

The costume mask consisted of the nose, moustache, glasses, and eyebrows all in one!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Over 40 Different Hair Types

Mizani says there are eight curl types based on their 2012 Natural Curl Key.

Sisterlocks teaches about 18 different hair types in their four day training class.

I say that both companies are falling short on the number of different hair types walking around in the world. 

Based on all the natural hair that I have seen in my chair, I can safely say that there are at least forty (40) different hair types.
So if you look at a ruler or tape measure in inches, I would say that every eighth of an inch spans into a different curl pattern.  So one person's curl diameter may be 1/8" and another 1/4" and so on up until about 1.25 inches in diameter.  Well that gives you at least 10 curl patterns.  Then each of those ten curl patterns are either: deep set or shallow. And then on top of that, they are either stiff/resistant or pliable.  So that makes 10 x 2 x 2 which equals 40 different hair types.

Please note, that shallow curl patterns can NOT be texturized because the curl pattern will go from "shallow" to just plain "straight."  There is no middle of the road with shallow curl patterns.

If you have a deep curl pattern, then a texturizer will make a deep set into a shallow curl pattern.

If you are not sure of whether or not your curl pattern is deep or shallow, then grab your natural hair and slightly stretch or elongate it.  If it still has a wave to it, then you have a deep curl pattern.  If it looks straight with minimal stretching, then your curl pattern is shallow.

Now, shallow curl patterns can be resistant or stiff despite the fact that they are close to straight as far as curl patterns go.  The resistance factor is how strong the hair proteins want to remain undisturbed.  On the flip side, a deep curl pattern is possible that it is pliable and easily straightened.

Resistant hair whether deep or shallow will resist being straightened by heat and will resist being straightened by chemical.

Some resistant hair if texturized will eventually reform into its original protein bonds as if the chemical never even took.  So for some resistant hair, if you do not completely "knock" the "kinks" out of the hair, it will revert back.  Also, please understand that if you are going against the resistant hair trying to straighten it with chemicals or heat, you stand the risk of making it fragile, but it will be straight.

In my opinion, once someone determines that they have truly resistant hair whether it is a 3/4" curl diameter or 3/8" curl diameter, micro-locking by coiling or interlocking should be presented as an option.  Resistant hair will less likely maintain long straight lengths because it will be pre-deposited to breakage due to the processing required to "knock" the kink out of it.

Roller set/wet set are still the best secret to maintaining length, but the hair has to be straight enough to wrap around the roller in a smooth manner which goes back to how effective the relaxer took.

If you have pliable, soft, manageable hair, then maintenance is much easier because the hair is NOT resistant to change.

I would like to conclude with a real life Q and A scenario:

Reader says:
I am rethinking going natural.  It took me too many hours to wash and straighten my hair.  As soon as I finish a few sections, the first ones are back to poof a ball again.  I am eight months post relaxer, and it has been rough.

My response:
Everyone's curl pattern and curl behavior in regards to shrinkage is different. So everyone's natural journey is unique to their hair's unique makeup.  I have seen soooo many different natural hairtypes in my chair that I can safely say that there are probably 40 different natural hair types.  Based on the scenario that you just described, you need two different products to moisturize/stretch then seal it with a defining gel for control.  If that does not work, then you need to consider micro-locking by coiling or interlocking.  If your hair is as resistant to straightening as you described, then you will damage it in order to make it hold straight. Be true to thine self. I have seen darker skinned sisters with loose curl patterns and lighter skinned sisters with ultra coily hair.  Your hair knows what it wants to do.  You either work with it or against it.  After eight months post relaxer, you should know if you can control your hair without locking and without chemicals.  It's all about control.  Otherwise, you start the day with one style and  by the end of the day, you are trying to figure out why there's nothing left of the style.  More bad hair days than good hair days are a definitely a sign for change.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Hair Bulbs: Root or Damaged Ends?

Hopefully, everyone recognizes flat iron breakage by now, but I pulled this picture from my blog archive to show how damaged ends can look like a "hair bulb."

What is a hair bulb?  Many people feel that if they pick up a strand of hair from their bathroom floor and see a hair bulb on the end, then the strand was a hair that came from the scalp's hair follicle.  They feel that the "hair bulb" signifies hair shedding which could be normal versus breakage.

Well,  some hair that is broken by the heat damage can look like there is a "hair bulb" on one end, but it really is breakage versus shedding.

Breakage can be stopped.  1) Recondition or Treat.  2) Discontinue use of whatever tool is causing the breakage.

So if you see a "bulb," then please be open to the possibility of the bulb being the results of a damaged end of the hair generated from extreme breakage.  I would suggest a salon treatment for any major hair breakage issues.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Uniform Locs: A Must or Not?

I have heard loc wearers as well as locticians talk about uniform locs versus lumpy locs.  I told my new loctician that I personally am okay with "lumpy locs."  All of my locs are smaller than the traditional locs, and I still have relaxer left in some of my stringy ends.  Even the loc repair pieces that I attached to my bang area had some relaxer left in them which is probably why they snapped off where they did upon the certified consultant's ripping my knots away.

So to make a long story short, I wear an extra wide headband to keep my locs scrunched at night because I want texture and bents in my locs.  So if I have areas where I finger twisted versus interlocked, it is fine with me because I want to see movement and bends in my locs.  The only time my locs look good straight is when they are soaking wet.  Other than that, my locs shrink up and resist gravity.

So "uniform locs" should be a personal decision.  Some people want to eventually cut the relaxed hair/locs off.  I am planning to keep all of my loc length, fat or skinny, it is all good to me.  Honestly, if someone gets a razor haircut on their straight hair, then their ends are going to be thin and wispy, not blunt and not uniform.  So why must locs be uniform?

So I repeat, micro-locks do not have to be uniform; however, the larger the locs, the more lumpy the locs can look.  For example:
This picture from is a perfect example how traditional sized locs emphasize every lump in each loc.  These locs look a little too big to roller set or perm rod or even bantu knot.  So if you have large locs uniformity will need to be addressed.  Overall, this picture of lumpy locs look uniform when looking at them from root to end.  Of course, I do see smaller locs in the front and larger locs in the back.  However, most Sisterlocks are smaller in the front and medium to large toward the back.

For those who do not have my texture hair and curl pattern, then certain interlocking patterns will force some texture into looser textured locs to keep them from looking too stringy.

So again, people need to think "out of the box" with locs.  How do you want to style your locs?  If your answer is long and straight, then you need to keep your upkeep timing and methods consistent for uniformity, but if you are like me, I am always going to prefer some wave or curl in my locs, so don't worry - just be happy!