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, September 20, 2016

Piggyback Perm Rod Set on Sisterlocks!

Yes, my four years and 2 months loc-versary is in about four days from now.

My piggy back perm rod set took at least 45 minutes to do.  

I oranged perm rodded my roots for my entire head first.  Then went back and put the baby perm rods throughout the ends of each piece.

 The perm rods are in hindsight a little heavy.  Now, I see why people love the pipe cleaners (i.e. chenile stems, fuzzy sticks). The orange perm rods and larger may be too heavy for any type of hair.  Although, those past due for a relaxer touch-up may benefit from the weight of the perm rod.

My loc length and my curly ends were great!  I was inspired by box braid styling  that has the curly ends. I am past for the four year mark.  I should have about 3 inches more of hang time next year!

Monday, September 19, 2016

What is a Natural Hairstylist in 2016?

The first question that I usually get from a new potential client is "DO You do natural hair?"

Like many hairstylists, I don't know how to answer this question.  I can offer color, smoothing treatments, sew-in, crochet braids, and individual twist styling. However, I am not a barber; so the small and big top loose naturals may need to seek a barber for haircuts.

I would prefer for people to ask for a specific hair service versus walking into the salon with a short, natural fro and expecting me to have a vision as to which direction to take them. Most don't want a relaxer, and they don't want locs.  However, protective styling (i.e. covering it up) seems to be top choice.

I am a locked natural wearer, but my locs keep my hair consistently under control.  I can use a wig for a loose hair look. I do maintain my own locked natural hair, but the majority of my clients are relaxed. 

Flat irons gave relaxers a bad wrap.  Relaxers have been around since the pressing comb timeframe.  The flat irons are the "new kids on the block."  The flat iron damage propelled this natural hair movement.  As long as the flat irons continue to be required for smoothing treatments and the preferred tool for straightening, the relaxer-free movement will continue.

Due to my aging, I decided to abandon relaxers as a personal healthy choice.  My decision to loc was also the best decision for me, but from what I know now, I would not encourage locking for everyone. Everyone's hair will not loc the same way.  I am four years ahead in my loc process so many who have begun to fall in love with my locs want the immediate long look versus the journey.

Luckily, micro faux locs can be crocheted for a practice loc run.  Now, back to the original question:

What is a Natural Hairstylist in 2016? What's your answers?  Feel free to leave your feedback.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Five Tips for Natural Hair Blowdry

Blow-dry service by Benita Blocker

  • Use a moisturizing conditioner layered by a Smoothing Conditioner
  • Use a wide tooth comb and distribute each conditioner throughout in two separate passes.
  • Set the dryer to "high heat" for platform dryer use unless you have a hair steamer.
  • Allow at least 20 minutes conditioning time
  • Avoid protein conditioning unless you want to define the curls more.

These steps should assist in hair hydration so much that the hair should feel elongated and non-resistant. (i.e. Ready for Blow-dry)

Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Look: Polished versus Unpolished

Wig Styling by Benita Blocker. (The polished look)

This article was inspired by the 2016 Olympics in Rio surrounding Gabby Douglas' hair.

I disagreed with negative comments that I heard firsthand such as:

"I can not believe she came back to the Olympics with her looking like that again after all the complaints about her hair at the 2012 Olympics.  What did she expect?"

In my opinion, Gabby Douglas showed up to the Olympics to compete and win.  She was not in a pageant or a sales meeting presenting a sales pitch.  She is an athlete.  It is a little hard to worry about hairline edges holding straight while executing gymnastics.

This insensitivity to Gabby Douglas' natural texture being unique to her hit a personal note with me.

A polished look is typically composed of new clothes, new shoes, smooth edges, pearl necklace, pearl earrings, no hair out of place and so on.

I had a similar situation going on while working for Carolinas Healthcare System.  As a hairdresser at a nursing home, dressy casual was my standard for the amount of manual labor required to care for the residents in a skilled nursing facility.  Apparently, my last manager really never understood the scope of the work that I performed in the nursing home beauty shop.

A meeting between my last manager and the Regional Human Resources Director yielded such comments as "you are very polished" by the Regional HR Director all the way to "you trying to get me fired" by my last manager.  Apparently, he did not expect me to dress up for the meeting.  He apparently did not know me well.

I know how to dress on many different levels.  It is all costume.  True beauty and true ugliness comes from inside the soul.

To clarify, unkempt edges has nothing to do with intellect nor skill set.  It just means that one is confident enough to be seen in one's own God given beauty without the need to submit themselves to look like the "polished" upper echelon all the time.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Four years One Month Sisterlocks Loc-versary

Rise and Shine!  It is my Four years and a Month Loc-versary!

My 2016 Ardell Eyelash Extensions class.

2016 is a year of self-expression.  It is amazing how much we can do with our hair!  I am still happy with my decision to self-express with my Sisterlocked hair.

This past weekend was Summer 2016 Bronner Bros International Hair Show.  I did not even review the online brochure because the current trend seems to be "No Trend."  So I could not justify traveling to learn something new when the hair market is "all over the board."

Weaves, Wigs, Crochet Braids, Headbands, Headscarves, Hats, Box Braids, Twists, Relaxers, Afros, Wash and Go's, Smoothing Treatments, and the list goes on.  Men are even using their hair for more self-expression by growing more length.  Let us see what 2017 brings.