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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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Blow Drying Tips for All Hair Types

Blow Drying Tips for naturally straight hair or freshly relaxed straight hair by Benita Blocker:

1) When there is little to no curl pattern present, blow dry from root to end slice by slice based on the diameter of your brush.
2) Take your time.  There is no need to hurry.  Thoroughly dry each slice before going to the next one.
3) If you just completed a fresh relaxer, you may want to foam the edges down and comb the hair in the style for the final look.  Then let the client sit under the platform dryer for 5 to 10 minutes to offset any extra blow-dry tension prior to starting the actual blow out.

 Blow Drying Tips for wavy to moderately curly hair by Benita Blocker:

1) There is no need to "divide and conquer" if the hair does not seem prone to shrinkage.
2) If the roots are kinkier than the relaxed ends, then focus on the roots as you go slice by slice.  You can return to thoroughly dry the ends as soon as you get all the roots straight and under control.  You do not want the roots to set in its naturally curly state.  You may want to explain this blow drying method in case they are used to a traditional blow-out in a specialty "blow-out" salon.

Blow Drying Tips for resistant curly hair by Benita Blocker:

1) If the hair has 50% to 75% shrinkage as you are combing through it, then you need to "divide and conquer."  I have discussed this method in a different article on this blog.  You must work quickly to get the hair detangled and plaited down into 13 or more large plaits.  You may need to re-wet the hair as you complete your "divide and conquer" step.  Water often gives more control over the hair.
2) Find a brush that the resistant hair will slide through but the brush needs to have enough bristles to hold some tension on the hair to keep from springing back.  Sometimes a first cut, soft, boar bristle brush may be your best bet as far as hair brushes are concerned.
3) If the "divide and conquer" technique is in place, then you do not have to hurry.  Just blow-dry slice by slice or plait by plait from root to end.
4) Clean partings are important even though it maybe difficult to part the hair.

Most blow dryers no longer have these long, narrow necks, but when they did, we as hairstylist would hold the blow dryer around the neck to control the blow dryer.  I wanted to include this picture from a historic blow drying perspective.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Backcombing Mimics Ethnic hair

As I was in deep thought about curl behavior, I realized all the times that the little ladies in the nursing home would have their hair "teased" or backcombed was actually mimicking Ethnic hair.  The backcombing  compacts the length of the hair at the roots.  It makes the head of hair look fuller. It gives it a fixed look. Hence, this technique was probably labelled "the tease" for its created fullness effect.

Many Black woman are born with hair that compacts at the scalp making it look fuller even when recovering from scalp damage.

The backcombing technique or finger tease technique are also used in dreadlocks and Sisterlocks formation for those with harder to lock curl patterns.

Well, I am definitely thankful to God for my "built-in backcombed" curls.  They really work in my advantage with my loc styling.

Friday, October 24, 2014

My 27 months Loc-versary!

 Well, my Sisterlocks are now two years and three months old. Considering one of the Sisterlocks representatives told me that Sisterlocks were not for everyone around the time that I was in the process of suing my Sisterlocks consultant, here I am.   I am still on my loc journey.  Every year will continue to present more styling opportunities and more caution as my locs get longer.

Some may wonder if it was worth suing my Sisterlocks consultant since my Sisterlocks turned out great?  With a resounding "YES" I do respond.  $750 for pure labor (no products), and I had to beg for a starter kit.  Oh yes, you bet I needed a partial refund!  I digress. The start of my Sisterlocks journey is still a sore spot for me.

Anyway, life is getting easier and easier.  I had someone mention - I remember when you started those Sisterlocks . . . they were "such and such" size.  I seem to now just fit into the crowd.  I have less stress.  No more struggles to keep it relaxed and under control.  One side of my locs are still smaller than the other, but I will continue to make it work.

Even as I am servicing my own hair clients, they enjoy seeing my hair (my locs) move with the tilt of my head as I am putting finishing touches on their final styling.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Avlon's Texture Release System: Original Formula

 Hair by Benita Blocker, October 2014

I used the original formula of the KeraCare Texture Release Smoothing System with this client.  Having been trained on the Brazilian Blowout smoothing treatment, I found the application phase of the Texture Release system to be slower and more difficult than the Brazilian Blowout formula.  However, I also experienced a nose bleed assuming it came from excessive exposure to an original formula of the Brazilian Blowout solution. 

I did get fumes from the Texture Release System, but apparently, because this old formula is a concentrated petroleum base product, it caused a haze in the salon. 

 Side view before smoothing treatment.

My client's mom explained that my client's hair is a mixture of Mexican and Black.  So thickness and curliness are both full throttle.  Luckily, my client says she likes "big hair" but she needed more control.

 Hair by Benita Blocker, October 2014

Application time was an hour to get the Texture Release from root to end throughout the head.  Flat ironing was another hour or more.  Typically, Brazilian Blowout would require a final water rinse and masque and another blowdry style phase.  KeraCare Texture Release does NOT require another water rinse, but there is a gamble that the client could be sensitive to the Texture Release System.  Avlon Industries' test salon actually recommends a "patch test" on the day before for anyone that has sensitive skin.  I told them that I did not realize that the system rose to a patch test level.

I hope to get my hands on the new Texture Release kit soon.  Apparently, the Thermal Protection spray will be less concentrated, and the smoothing solution is going to be in a spray bottle.  I actually like the origninal formula of the Thermal Protection Spray so I am going to be dissappointed that another good thing will be gone.

Back view before smoothing treatment.

My client was pleased with the service. I felt that it was a little oily than what I would prefer, but the extra oil will disappear with her next wash. We just considered it as a hot oil treatment.

Also, a note to the hairstylists, the chemical smell of the Texture Release system lingered on my clothes and hands.  My cover-ups have to be laundered after performing this Texture Release service.  I hope the smell from the new Texture Release formula is better.  This original formula does not smell worse than a "curly perm," but it is a strong second as far as I am concerned.

When I get to try the new formula of the Texture Release system, then I plan to add a separate article on this blog about it.  Until then, stay tuned.  Thanks for following me!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Taliah Waajid Crinkles & Curls Styling Foam

 Taliah Waajid Black Earth Products Crinkles & Curls Natural Hair & Loc Styling Lotion is a foam that delivers a soft set.  I used it to "dry set" my locs overnight.

Because this foam delivers a soft hold, you can use it daily to dry set your locs at night. I used 3 strand twists put into a bantu knot to achieve this look.

I also had to use some Joico Firm Holding spray to give me volume and to reinforce the hold of my curls.