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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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 loud "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.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Natural Hair Dry Set and Updo

Hair by Benita Blocker, 2014

So my client turned age 15, and she loves her natural hair.  She does her own hair about 100% of the time, but she had a special event where she needed a polished natural style in the form of an updo per her mom's request.

So after shampooing with conditioning shampoos, I skipped the conditioning phase and went for the blow dryer.  So YES! She was a full blow-out but no hot irons.  Her texture was moderately resistant so the blow dry phase took at least 40 minutes. Then I performed the dry set in the form of 2-strand flat twists.

If you remember, sometimes I have dry set my locs by using a setting agent on them from a completely dry stage.  So the only wetness on the hair is generated from the setting agents.  Dry sets cuts down on the drying time for natural hair.  For short hair:  40 minutes.  For medium hair: an hour.  Getting the back of the 2 strand twist cornrows dry is where the challenge is.  So your front is guaranteed to be perfect which is the area that most people focus on.

Because my client had a formal event on a Saturday, we shampooed, blow-dried, and dry set on a Friday.  She left out with cornrows to sleep overnight then we unloosened each one to deliver beautiful waves. I absolutely loved it completely down but because of the event and the formal dress that she was going to be wearing, an updo was a must.  I french braided the back up to the bottom of her ears, then I french rolled the rest.

It turned out gorgeous!  She was the second one that I used the dry set technique on and so far, it is a perfect score for both clients.  Great timing especially if the hair is a easy blow-out and quick drying time. Average price is $45 to $55 depending on how long the blow-dry takes. I actually used the Mizani Moisture Stretch and Mizani Perfect Curls cocktailed to achieve this look.

If the hair is too long or too resistant for a quick blow-dry, then I recommend trying a method that does not require blow-drying.  20 to 40 minutes blow-dry maximum.  If you have to "divide and conquer" in order to keep control of the hair, then that may be a sign that the hair is too resistant to dry set.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Nairobi Tru Colors has a New Shade!

Nairobi Tru Colors, a semi-permanent color line, added a Bombshell Dark Brown color #3-D to their collection.  It has a neutral base and reminds me of a milk chocolate color.

I prefer when this color line is thick versus runny.  I have had a distributor sell me color with a runny consistency, and I discontinued using the line because of this inconsistency.  The distributor later mentioned that I should let him know if I prefer the thicker consistency over the runny one - that way, he can pull it for me.

In my head, I am thinking - really? There should be some sort of quality control. There should be some sort of consistency in how the product should be.  Why sell hairstylists inferior products because they do not know  how thick or thin the product should be to achieve optimum results with their clients?

Anyway, the size of the Tru Colors bottle allows you to get several uses out of it so I prefer to buy the blue/black/Indigo color from Nairobi.  I do not have many clients who want the blue/black color, but it is the best option for semi-permanent hair color for those clients who do.