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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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Four hair types revisited!

Oprah's hairstylist Andre Walker described the four hair types in his 1997 book . . .

Type 1 - straight hair
Type 2 - wavy hair
Type 3 - Curly hair
Type 4 - Overcurly to kinky hair

Type 3 and Type 4 can have smaller categories based on the diameter of your curl pattern.

If you are unsure of whether or not you are type 3 or type 4, then your frequency of your relaxer touchup can help. If you are relaxing every three to five months then you are probably Type 3. If you can barely make it to 8 weeks before you are past due for your relaxer touchup, then you are probably Type 4.

Relaxer Service: From Afro to Straight

Fresh relaxer service with a cut! Hair by Benita Blocker
Type 4c hair can shrink 75%. We measured this hair to be over 3 inches long when stretched out!
Type 4c hair means extremely overcurly and maximum shrinkage. Pressing the hair would still be difficult to manage without chemical relaxation. We made sure that she had at least 3 inches of "new growth" before relaxing it. Anything under 3 inches will eventually overprocess with relaxer touchup services. So relaxing "the afro" prior to 3 inches of growth is not ideal. 3 inches is six months of growth. Say a seven month wait to allow for reshaping/trim after the relaxer.
Client received a virgin relaxer application, roller/wet set, flat iron, and cut. Client just came out of a full sew-in hairstyle, and we did not want the added stress of a full blow dry service after the relaxer process. Some of the ends were still slightly texturized after the relaxer; so flat ironing will be needed each time to finish her look. Some Texture in the hair is a good cushion for this hair type for future relaxer touchups. Hair by Benita Blocker.

9/5/2011 Update: I have posted another article called "Hair Growth: Five Months review." This particular article gives a more detailed journey of going from Afro to Straight. Honestly, if you have a sensitive scalp, I do not know if you can get the level of straightness that you desire in one relaxer setting.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Comparing Wet and Wavy Hair Extensions

One side is remi hair at $100 per pack. The other side is mid-grade hair at $50 per pack. 2010 pricing. Can you tell? I have the remi hair braided into the front of my hair and flipped over so that you can not see it. The mid-grade hair was braided into the back and parts of the sides. I really worked to get this picture. Smile. Well, the answer is the blacker hair on the left is the remi hair, and the browner; more defined waves is the mid-grade hair. Neither packages are cheap. If take your hand and cover one side of the picture, then it will truly give you a feel for how either hair type would look all over.
These are the original packages of braiding hair used for this style. For more information, please see my invisible braiding article. Remember the colored package is mid-grade at about $50 per pack, and the black remy hair is $100 per pack. I like the softness of the remy hair. It looks soft and feels soft. The mid-grade hair is a little stiffer to the touch. I have found that the term "remi" and "remy" are constantly interchanged. I spelled it both ways in this article to assist with search criteria. To maintain this curly hair, please see my article on containing curls.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Effects of Chemicals on Hair

I wrote an article about the "effects of heat" on hair last month . . . giving an example of how egg/protein goes from liquid to solid when direct heat is applied.

Now, I want to visit the idea of Lightener, Relaxers, and Permanent Color (i.e. chemicals) and how they effect the hair by softening/loosening the hair permanently.

Lighteners (i.e. hair bleach) removes your natural pigment from your hair. The pigment that you were born with. The remaining hair is lighter in weight and is a permanent change in the hair. The strength of the lightener determines how much pigment is removed.

Permanent color removes your natural pigment from your hair and redeposits artificial pigment. Similar to the lightener, the strength of the permanent color determines how much pigment is removed and how much artificial color is redeposited.

Relaxers are designed to soften hair, smooth out texture, and neutralize into the straighter shape. Underprocessed hair will still wave up slightly which means that it is texturized. Overprocessed hair will be hard to hold a curl.

If you think of crisp vegetables like green beans or carrots or asparagus; and if you soften them by boiling them. The longer the boil; the less crisp the vegetables become. Their level of softness is permanent. If your vegetables become mushy, then you do not expect to see them crisp ever again. One would have to start with fresh raw vegetables and not overcook them. (i.e. called "new growth" in reference to our hair -- do not overprocess!) You do not want to keep starting over!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

New Natural Textures products

There is a trend toward sporting more textured tresses. (i.e. Curls, twists, afros)

Mizani was one of the first to market their "natural textures" line. Now, KeraCare and Design Essentials have introduced their "natural textures" lines.

With natural hair, everyone has to embark on the journey of discovering their own product combination. Curl pattern, porosity, and overall finish is a personal choice.

KeraCare's Natural Textures line includes cleansing cream, butter cream, hair milk, Defining Custard, and more. The KeraCare online store has more information.

I have not tried the line yet; but I have the line in my salon for purchase.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Sanitizing versus Sterilizing

From my research, UV Sanitizers kill pathogenic bacteria, but not viruses. Sterilization kills both the good bacteria as well as the bad bacteria. However, if you are not in an overall sterile environment, then airborne bacteria can get on the tool again. You can learn more as well at

I use the UV Sanitizer for sanitizing my hair brushes.

Ultrahold Lace Front Adhesive

This acrylic adhesive is great for those using lace front wigs for hair replacement. Less is more as far as application. It should spread easily. Hair will interfere with its capacity to hold. (i.e. shave the area) I had this particular bottle of Ultra Hold for three or more years . . .

The shelf life is expired for this bottle of Ultra Hold. Notice: It is sticking to itself! Not good! It is time to buy more!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Professional Medium Length Haircut

This client came in for a new look that she should could easily style in the morning. An "unwrap and go" type of look, but of course, the husband wants her to keep as much length as possible. So I layered and shaped into a more professional medium length look! Hair by Benita Blocker
Soft layers in the back as well! This style was created by flat ironing. Hair by Benita Blocker.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Containing Curly Hair!

Water plus these three products are a great weightless combination for curly hair. Careful with the VO5 Conditioning Hairdressing -- a dab every other day is usually sufficient. You can use plenty of the Carefree Curl Instant Moisturizer with Glycerine and Protein, but use it right after the hair is wet. Use the L'oreal Smoothing/Glossing Cream in moderate quantity. Surprisingly, the VO5 gives frizz control without being sticky nor heavy even though it has mineral oil and petroleum in it.

I believe L'Oreal changed the packaging of the Smoothing/Glossing Cream. It now has Vive Pro on it.
My "curly hair" when it is completely saturated with water. (Barely towel-dried) (I layered Carefree Curl Instant Moisturizer followed by VO5 followed by L'oreal Smoothing Cream)
My "curly hair" after a few days without water on it! It swells! I learned not to be afraid of water. Periodically, during the day, you may have to mist with water to refresh!

My "curly hair" on day two with a Misting of water followed by plenty of the Carefree Curl Instant Moisturizer, a dab of VO5 Conditioning Hairdress, and some of the Loreal Smoothing/Glossing Cream. Layer the products! Do not Cocktail! These products still allow the hair to move and shake. The swelling is minimized. This look is a happy medium. The goal is to avoid soaken wet hair in the winter and avoid the frizzies of being dehydrated! This hair is dry to the touch . . . But not too big! Yeah!

It's a week and a half later without shampooing, and I still have movement! These three products are the "bomb!" Yes!

Yes! Texture is in! Lovin' it! (2010)

Type 3 hair with relaxer, color, and extensions

My client just received a fresh relaxer, color refresh (10 min Goldwell semi-permanent), roller set service, some hair extensions sewn in, and a fresh new cut! Hair by Benita Blocker.

My client has a type 3 curl pattern. We relax every 8 weeks on average. We color once a month with 15 vol permanent color. She likes extensions added for thickness and a little length. The sew-in method seems to be the healthiest method for double processed hair. Hair by Benita Blocker.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Synthetic Half Wigs that you can hot curl!

Outre Quick Weave! 30 to 40minutes to thin out, shape and hot curl on the initial setting, but 30 seconds every day after that. In addition, you have the option of taking it off each day to allow your hair and scalp to breathe. I leave my own hairline out and set the half wig away from the hairline for a more natural look.

Outre's Quick Weave Style: Shanti is made of "Hightex." An electric iron can be used on it from 300 to 390 degrees. It only costs around $20.

This is the Shanti half wig integrated with my own hair. I ironed out some of the curls at the ends and cut the length in order to achieve this look. If you get a professional such as myself to thin the wig out and cut some of the length off -- it is perfect for a quick last minute hairdo that you can pull out of storage for emergencies! No needle nor thread needed. Just braid your hair for support of the comb attachments both in the front and back . . .

Consider getting it prepared now . . for later!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Seamless Extensions or Skin Weft Extensions

Ultratress is one brand of seamless extension/hair. The concept is a double-sided tape that adheres to the hair. Thin slices of your hair can be sandwiched between strips of seamless extension hair wefts or a liquid adhesive can be added to the scalp for hair replacement. If the seamless hair is applied to the scalp then it is more considered a skin weft. You can not use conditioner at the roots. Conditioner as well as alcohol from "dry shampoos" can cause the tape to loosen and slip. (i.e. extension hair falling out.) This procedure is a great "break" from strand by strand hair extensions.

This is a picture of a traditional woven weft of extension hair. There are little to no product restrictions, but it can be harder to blend with one's own natural hair.
The third picture featured in this article shows both of these human hair extensions used to create one look. Notice: The front 2 inch block of extension hair shown here are woven weft extensions using the gluefree quickweave approach. The back 2 inch block of extension hair is seamless hair extensions. Adhesive is built into the extension hair.

In the far distance, you can see the back of the double sided tape from the seamless hair extension.

Claiming your Worth

My first thoughts on a title for this article was "Know your Worth." However, I have heard this term so much that I decided that I wanted to invoke action.

So for all of the "Precious" people of the world, it is time to claim your worth. God invented you with something special.

Your something special may be something unique. You have to identity all of your something specials. Examples: Patti Labelle discovered she had a large nose, a big beautiful voice, and a zest for life.

The zest for life is what you are trying to claim. Do not focus on your weaknesses . . . find your strengths.

The world as a whole is ran by wealthy people; not smart people. So if you have a high IQ, a natural sense of doing business, effective written communication, and the ability to hold a conversation, then you are already ahead of 90% of America.

Your mind is a terrible thing to waste. If you do not use it, then you will lose it. (A condition called dementia.)

Physical beauty may pass away, but a sharp mind at any age will always attract a crowd. Example: America's Got Talent 2010 had a hand whistler that just had a magnetic personality. She was a Senior Citizen with a walker just by looking at her, but she was a "chipper" young gal at heart.

Having children at an early age will sometimes distract you from identifying your worth because you are trying to help your child identify their worth and to take care of them.

With the economy in the dumps, the traditional college degrees look great on paper, but it does not guarantee anything by itself. Getting licensed in a field to practice is the best way to go. Electrician, Heating/Cooling, Nursing, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Plumbing, and other career fields that require Board licensing, and the work is a necessity. Work associated with living, mobility, health, and shelter will keep you employed.

Mediate and claim your worth. Then do not let anyone take it away from you. If you want to fit into the "social circles" then you have to acquire the "image" and the physical beauty. It's superficial, but remember 90% of Americans are not that smart . . . they just have money; they are connected to money; or they "look like" money.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Invisible braid styling

For this Invisible braid styling, I used Janet New Yaky Straight Hair. You must leave some your relaxed/texturized hairline out. A hairstylist such as myself will have to perform the haircut. Braiders just put the hair in.
You can see the braids at the roots. Your hair gets blended in! I do suggest that you get your hair shampooed, treated/conditioned, blow-dried, and flat ironed/straightened before getting any invisible braid service. Why? When your hair is not flat ironed/straightened, it looks thicker and is essentially less condensed. The braider seems to pickup less of your hair as she is braiding and more of the extension hair. The extra weight of the extension hair on the less condensed strands of your own individual hair can cause breakage. You will be able to feel the heaviness from day one. If it is heavy from the first day, then you need to get them removed within a month. That seems like a expensive hairdo right? Yes. So I strongly suggest straightening your hair first to condense the strands so that more of your hair is in each individual plait. The hair should not feel heavy if less of the extension hair is attached to your own hair.
For this invisible braid styling, I used Boyhme Remi 20 inch Natural Wave hair (around $100 per pack) on top and front. I used Enstyle French Refined Wet and Wavy in the back. Yes. I was trying to save some money . .
My hair is not fully relaxed; I keep it texturized because I want to maintain the strength of the hair. The braiding process can be stressful to already weak hair. Invisible braids is not suggested for completely natural hair either. Because your hair is partly loose and mixed in . . . you do not want to have different textures showing up within your hair style. You can see the braids at the roots. I still recommend flat ironing/straightening the hair first before getting "wet and wavy" hair extensions as well. You may be asking why straighten hair if you are planning to re-wet it anyway? Again, you want more of your "condensed" hair to go into each individual braid in order to support the weight of the hair extensions. Once you wet the style, your straight hair will definitely blend in. Invisible braids are great to allow the hairline to rest. Just twist set the front hairline into the wet and wavy hair; then just watch it grow. You can keep it moisturized and oiled with VO5 conditioning hairdress and Carefree Curl instant Moisturizer. (See my separate article on "containing curly hair") These simple "old school" products seem to not weigh the hair down and seem to nourish the hair while sporting the braided extension style.
The invisible braids look like strand to strand, but there is no adhesive nor glue involved. My braider that I use charges around $150 Labor only and takes about six hours on average. I have to cut and thin out the final hairstyle for my individual, personalized look.

Long, fine, relaxed, overcurly hair!

My client has fine, Type 4 hair. She has a fresh relaxer and fresh long layered haircut. (No hair extensions here!) Hair by Benita Blocker.
Fine hair does not need hair color to look great! Long Layered Haircut by Award winning Hairstylist Benita Blocker.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Curliest Hair is the most fragile hair

Yes! The more twist and turns that your hair has, then the more opportunities for breakage. "Natural hair" is included.

If you think about the scales of a fish, when the scales are flat and tight, the fish is the most protected, smooth, and shiny.

Those scales are like our hair cuticle. If the hair cuticles are tightly closed, then they are the shiniest and beautiful.

Curls represent opportunities for the hair cuticles to raise up because there are so many twist and turns. Therefore you see frizz and some vulnerability because a tight cuticle keeps the hair protected.

Tight cuticles can be achieved through relaxation of the hair which is permanent straightening of the hair or by putting a polymer such as Brazilian Blowout Keratin Treatment around the strand which is temporary. Some people are born with straight hair.

If you decide on permanent relaxer, then the curliest hair will have the most bonds altered within one strand. If you go to the website:
it explains how the relaxer is designed to seek out the points where the hair bends in order to straighten it. So less bends equal less permenant alteration of the hair.

Those born with straight hair but use a lot of permanent color can find that they damage the cuticle therefore they see frizz which is a raised cuticle. The Brazilian Blowout Keratin Treatment again would be a good way to enclose the hair strand with a polymer to keep the cuticle down.

Overall, straight hair that is not continuously over processed where the cuticle becomes damaged is the healthiest, shiniest hair!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Two Different Textures on one Head (Type 3 & 4)

After one year and four months of "going natural," my client grew to appreciate the relaxer service for control and styling ease. She has two different hair textures. Type 3 in the front, and Type 4 in the back beginning in the crown area. Hair by Benita Blocker
Client has type 3(curly) hair in the front of her head, and type 4a (kinky curly) hair in the back area beginning at the crown. She was struggling with maintaining two different curl patterns on her one head. The picture show her hair with scalp based and "preprotect" solution on the ends. You can tell that there is a definite difference in curl patterns. She decided to return to relaxer services. We used Fiberguard Affirm relaxer system because she felt that she was allergic to some of the ingredients in the Paul Mitchell product line.

Type 4 hair Blow dry/style versus Roller set

This client is a Type 4 hair due for relaxer. So she received the blow-dry style service. Many clients find that straight hair is easier to maintain. Just Wrap. Moisturize the ends each night. Unwrap in the morning and go . . . Hair by Benita Blocker
My client received the Paul Mitchell relaxer service, hair trimmed to refresh the layers, and roller set. Hair by Benita Blocker
Straight styling (side view). Hair by Benita Blocker
After a fresh relaxer, I recommend roller set service on Type 4 hair. My client just received the Relaxer touch-up, trim, and roller set styling. Hair by Benita Blocker