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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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.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Loc Wet Set versus Wet Locs

October 2014 
Plaits,  Pincurls, and Bantu Knots wet set using Lottabody Ready to Use setting lotion- new formula

 October 2014 Wash and Condition


October 2014 different camera angle

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Ten Reasons Why Hairstylists Retain Clientele


Ten Reasons in no particular order why Hairstylists retain their clientele include

1)  Great reading selection!

I have some clients that love all the latest celebrity gossip so People and Us magazines are their favorites.  I have some who love the latest fashion trends so Vogue, Instyle, and Harper's Bizarre are favorites.  Others like Health and More magazines for anti-aging tips.  My salon has a lot of reading choices and classic hairstyling books to keep all ages occupied in case they don't bring their IPad or Kindle.

2) Flexible salon hours!

My salon is open by appointment from Monday to Saturday from 8am to 10 pm.  I am a full time hairstylist so I work around my clients' needs.  I am servicing clients from 4pm to 9pm on most weeknights.  I have worked on Sundays in cases of emergencies such as funerals, heavy travel schedules, or if I take an extra day off and need to makeup salon work hours.

3) Caliber of clientele!

I attract warm spirited clientele.  Most of my clientele get along and hold very productive conversations.  We talk about current events and movie reviews.  Most clients feel like my salon is a great place to meditate, laugh, and relax.


4) Great smelling hair!

Many clients love leaving out of the salon, and their hair smells like they just left the salon.  Great looking and Great smelling hair goes a long way.

5) Great smelling salon!

Using top quality shampoos and conditioners causes a sensual aroma to permeate throughout the salon.  Most shampoos with peppermint or tea tree definitely carry a scent that lingers on and on!

6) Fresh perspective!

Sometimes new clients are looking for a fresh perspective on their hair.  Just like you try different makeup artists to deliver you a slightly different color scheme, many clients want to try a different salon regimen on their hair when they go to a different salon.  So if every salon in a little town uses KeraCare or Paul Mitchell, many clients would jump at the opportunity to try some Bumble and Bumble or Pureology.  My salon keeps a variety of fine haircare lines and the combinations seem to keep bringing people back!  We rotate through some lines, and for some, we stick with what works.  I typically update each client's profile with every visit to know if we did something that worked better than before or not.

7) Various chemical options!

Sometimes people need to switch chemical brands for a variety of reasons.  If the salon has limited options, people want to  go where they get more alternative solutions.  My salon offers several relaxer options as well as treatment options.

8) Precision Haircuts!

Many people want a great haircut without the hairstylist being scissor happy and taking off too much length.  I am very patient with my clientele.  Most say that I am too conservative sometimes when they really want a haircut versus a trim.  So they trust me to not cut too much.  They usually ask me to take off more.

9) Community updates!

Some people like hearing about "what's new" moving to the area as well as movie recommendations and new food dishes to try in the area.

10) Product Knowledge!

My clientele love to hear about my latest continuing education classes.  What new procedures are being introduced?  What new products to consider?  What is the latest hair trend?  When is the next hair show? Many of my clientele remain true to their classic hairstyling, but they like that option of trying something new.


Loc Length Check: Two Years Two and a Half months

It was wash day so I did my wet loc photo shoot to keep everyone updated!  I am about twelve days short of my two years three months loc anniversary.  I retighten by handlocking as I feel for loose locs on an almost daily basis.  So the amount of new growth in my locs vary from loc to loc. This regimen works for me.  Those with smaller Sisterlocks should stick to what works for them.

 I am still getting a lot of compliments.  Some the same strange "it's growing" compliments.  Others just say "I love your hair."

I figured that I would showcase my thickness while wet.  It is a bit of an illusion by bunching it, but it serves the purpose!

I may post final pictures of a pincurl and bantu knot set that I am sitting under the hair dryer with as I am writing this article.