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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Monday, December 27, 2010

Teena Marie Celebrity Hair Look

You can achieve Teena Marie's look two ways. 1)You or your stylist should use the 1 inch barrel curling iron overdirecting hair around the hairline, curling hair towards the back of the head. Use clips or bobby pins to hold each curl until they all cool down. Spray a moveable holding spray such as "Brocato Movable Hold" onto the curls before taking out your clips or pins. Once you have curled, clipped, and sprayed, then remove the clips/pins. Bend your head down. Run your fingers through your hair from nape area to the front. Lift up your head. Spray with movable/flexible hairspray again. Use your hands to get your final finishing look around the hairline. Spray one more final burst of moveable/flexible hairspray and you have it! Or 2) you or your stylist should use either hot roller/dry (1.25" diameter and hope you have enough hot rollers :-) or wet set with the "red size" magnetic rollers. Ask that the front hairline be overdirected facing toward the back. All rollers should face toward back allowing the hair on the center roller to naturally part after drying and removing rollers. Use hairspray if you choose to dry/set with hot rollers. Final styling tips are the same as option one as previously stated in this article. Have Fun!

On a separate note, I wish the family comfort in the passing of Teena Marie. God has taken her home . .

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Is your Flat Iron Burning your Hair Test

This is a Babyliss Tourmaline Ionic, Ceramic Flat iron with adjustable temperature. I turned it on to the highest setting and let it sit still for 10 minutes until I felt it heated up and was "piping hot."
I clamped this flat iron onto some toilet paper. Smooth paper versus "quilted" is better. After holding my grip for about a minute. I let go.
The discoloration of the toilet paper shows that this flat iron could burn the hair. I placed a black mark on the toilet paper in order to show that it was the same test piece of paper. I know that most people would not hold their flat iron in one place on the hair for a whole minute, but you can try this test with different flat irons to see if you get varied results. Remember this was a Tourmaline, Ionic flat iron. A good flat iron should "silken" the paper without obvious discoloration. Babyliss has come out with their Titanium plated flat irons. They may eliminate this potential damage. Titanium plates are scratch resistant and may help eliminate static electricity. Metal is suppose to have the ability to reduce static electricity in clothes. Ex. Running a metal hanger down your clothes is a static electricity reducer.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Styling with the 1.25 inch flat iron

Sometimes the 1 inch irons give the client too much curl. And the 2 inch flat irons do not hold curl long enough. So the one and a quarter inch flat iron is a great option for a sexy tousled look that will hold! Hair by Benita Blocker (sorry about the picture's backdrop; they are quick snapshots while I am in my element!)
Using some the Alterna Bamboo Smooth Kendi Oil plus Joico Leave-in Conditioner and some of the "It's a 10" during some of the wet phase, positions you with a nice blow-dry. Then Moccocan Oil before flat ironing seals the deal! Hair by Benita Blocker.
Incredible shine and brillance! Hair by Benita Blocker.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Understanding the "Hair" Practice

Good cosmetologists are hair "doctors." We "write prescriptions" as it relates to beauty products and beauty regimens. We hope that it works for you (the loyal client) and then if it does not then we have to give you another "beauty prescription" to try.

Unfortunately, there is no "hair insurance" policy, no "Hair co-pays," and no exact science in a hair practice.

Many people are prone to hop from salon to salon . . . from hairstylist to hairstylist. They forget that hairstylists are just as human as a medical physician.

If something is not working, then you have to partner to find the best routine and best products for you.

Many times because the economy is so bad, people only go to the salon when they need a professionally styled "hairdo" that will hold as long as possible. Wow! That means the hairstylist is expected to give you the most beautiful, healthy head of hair in one visit. May I also add . . . at an affordable price . . . NOT!

Consider a tube of lipstick. If everyone gets their own tube of the same color of lipstick, would everyone have the same color of lips?

The answer is NO. The products look and react different with everyone. The higher end products usually have higher quality ingredients that should work with all hair types, but the average consumer does not want to pay much for a hair service.

The funny thing about the hair business is that hair is the most fragile thing on our body and it takes "time" to grow. It is like cooking vegetables . . . once it is cooked/overcooked it is gone! Then the "start over" or the waiting period goes into effect again.

Why not trust only cosmetologists that are always taking classes and staying current on research and trends? I personally am licensed in three states, and I keep my licensing up. I am constantly looking for the next best product to make my job easier. I am constantly networking with other professionals to stay on top of "what is working" and "what is not." All I do is "hair" for a living. It is my profession. It is how I pay my bills. It is my passion. It is my joy.

Cosmetologists have an awesome responsibility, and the dedicated, professional ones are often underpaid. Professional cosmetologists should be paid as much as medical physicians especially when we are expected to get everything right on the first visit.

Some high-end salons have their "penthouse" view and aromatheraphy built into their prices. Clients really should look at the certifications that a stylist has more than the price of the hair do. Whether you go to someone who has worked part-time for twenty years in the beauty industry versus someone who has worked full-time for five years in the industry, every stylist is not going to be right for everyone.

Happy searching for a professional cosmetologist that sees you for more than a number!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Mannequin Mania

Hair by Benita Blocker.
Haircut, Round brush styling, and a flat iron finish. Hair by Benita Blocker
Hair cut by Benita Blocker
Hair color by Benita Blocker (done in phases . . .)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Using the Round Brush for Hair styling

Round Brushes usually fall in the categories of "boar bristle," metal, or a "Cricket." When using any type of brush, you need to make sure the hair can pass through it without tangling before using a blow-dryer. This overview is just an introduction to round brushes. Choosing the right brush for you will require a consultation. Oily scalp versus dry scalp; thin hair versus thick hair; curly hair versus straighter hair are all factors to consider. If you have straight roots when the hair is wet, then a rough dry with your hands to get 80% of the water out and to add volume at the roots may be necessary before any round brushing begins. Curly roots need to be less dry to avoid setting the curls. Paddle brushes or Denman brushes may be needed for curlier hair versus the round brush. I will discuss other brushes in a future article. Stay tuned.
The metal round brush acts like a "curling iron." The metal heats up from the blow dryer heat. The metal brushes deliver the sleekest looks. Look for metal round brushes with short bristles versus long. I was taught longer bristle brushes can get caught in the hair.
Boar bristle brushes are known for both "cleansing the hair" and "distributing the natural oils from the scalp." Boar bristle brushes do not have to be round, but always look for "first cut" boar bristle brushes. The "Marilyn" and the "Monroe" brands of round brushes are the leading brands for boar bristle brushes. The "first cut" boar bristles should have a rounder tip (taken from the bulb) and should feel softer.
The "Cricket" brush is considered static-free and great for areas that you want to hold taut (tight) while blowdrying straight such as your hairline. These brushes have rounded tips and lengthy bristles so carefully not to get the brush caught in the hair.

Again, this is an overview on round brushes. I will be discussing blow dryers, leave-in conditioners, etc in a separate upcoming article. There is enough information in this article to get you started on the right track with your own research for your own hair type.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Shampooing Ethnic Hair Everyday

If you take a shower everyday and you clean the rest of your body everyday, then why not shampoo your hair everyday?

In some cultural groups, the idea that hair can not be shampooed everyday has been passed on for decades. In reality, with the right products and techniques, everyone (Black people included)can shampoo as often as you need to!

Key things to remember:
1) If shampooing everyday, you do NOT need to exfoliate the scalp. In other words, do not vigorously cleanse the scalp. Lightly massage the scalp and just concentrate on cleansing the hair strands of sweat, product buildup, and/or hairspray.
2) Use the proper shampoos to cleans what you need to get out of the hair. Ex. If you are using a lot of silicone products, consider a mild sulfate based shampoo like Paul Mitchell Shampoo one as a quick first lather. Rinse. Then use a luxury shampoo like Pureology Nanoworks as a quick second shampoo. Remember: Cleanse the hair not the scalp if shampooing daily. You do not want to irritate the scalp.
3) Use the appropriate conditioner. Ethnic hair or curlier hair may need a thicker conditioner such as Rusk Deepshine Keratin Care Deep Penetrating Treatment. There are also "daily conditioners" for those who have finer hair.
4) Use the right leave-in conditioners and/or styling aids. Pictured is a Sebastian Whipped Creme that is great on wet hair for blow-drying the hairline straight. Also, Moccocan oil is great on dry hair for flat ironing. Everyone must find a good combination for their own hair type and the style they want to wear.

Please note: That your hair should be free of tangles before you start the blow-dry process. If the hair is tangled then either you need a conditioning treatment and/or different leave-in conditioners.

As far as added time in the morning: I have been able to shower, shampoo, condition, apply leave-in conditioners, comb-through, and blow-dry within 30 minutes for my shorter hair look. I can be dressed, makeup applied, hair curled and ready to go within another 40 minutes. So it can be done pretty quickly . . .

In the past, I spent more time trying to get "soiled hair" curled to look good than it would have taken me to just "start over" with the shampoo process. Allow an extra hour in the morning to try this out . . .

If you have long, thick hair . . . just ponytail it if you are having a bad hair day. You will need more time than a shorter, edgy hairstyle.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Removal of Gluefree Quick Weave (Partial head)

The Gluefree Quickweave method involves the Gro Protect Solution by Morning Glory Products and "bonding glue."
This is an example of a partial head of gluefree quick weave. Only the back length is hair extensions to blend in with the front hair for a new look.
Removal involves using bonding glue removal lotion around the perimeter of the quick weave section to be removed as well as anywhere you feel you may have put extra glue for superior hold. (i.e. closure areas) Then just run water over the section for about three minutes to start to dissolve the growth serum. As it loosens up, massage the extension hair/quick weave out. The removal can be messy depending on how well you protected the hair with the serum as well as how much glue was used. Also, fully relaxed hair makes removal easier than natural or texturized hair. Before shampooing, comb and detangle glue balls and trapped hair that may have shedded while resting in the quick weave style. If you are planning to relax the hair after quick weave removal, then avoid the shampoo. Just go under the platform dryer after the comb out and detangle process. After hair dries, base the scalp, let the scalp rest for about 10 minutes then begin your relaxer touch-up. Every person should evaluate their own personal situation to ensure safety and healthy application of chemicals. A mild shampoo with limited scalp manipulation may be needed prior to a relaxer touchup if there is still a lot of build up in the hair from the quick weave removal. A licensed cosmetologist is recommended when applying permanent relaxers or chemicals.

After gluefree removal, the hair can be shampooed, conditioned, and styled back into your usual look! Haircut by Vickie Byrum. Final Styling by Benita Blocker.

Gluefree Quick Weave - Gro Protect Solutions (GPS)

Gro Protect Solutions is a growth serum that crystallizes on already smoothed down hair to form a shield against bonding glue application.
The hair should be molded down with some combination of setting agents and styling gels. My hair is texturized in this picture, and I used some of Paul Mitchell's sculpting lotion as well as leave-in conditioners. I am demonstrating a partial head of this process. (the back of my head only) I wanted styling freedom in the front/top of my head. The whole head can be molded if you want a full head of quick weave. Just leave as much hair or as little hair as you want out. I put a plastic cap over the top of my head to keep the moisture in my front hair that has to be blow-dried out after everything is crystallized.
The Gro Protect Solution (GPS) is then applied and dried onto the already molded hair. In my opinion, this method works best with fully relaxed hair that is very smooth. (i.e. tightly closed cuticle) Natural and Texturized hair has so many "curves" in it that the crystallization of the product is not always even. Therefore, the removal can be messier or a little more difficult. So I tried to put as much of the GPS on my hair as possible to try to coat every curve. After the solution is dried, you can layer again if you have time, in order to make sure texturized hair is fully protected. Again, the plastic cap is to prevent my hair that is left out of the process from drying. I plan to blow-dry the front and curl it for the final styling.

This is my finished style with the gluefree quick weave method in the back for a quick change in length and style. Hair by Benita Blocker.
The gluefree quick weave method does involve "glue" but adds a protective growth solution and shield around the hair for easier removal. As the hair grows out, the crystallized shield raises up still allowing air to get to the scalp on a windy day. Allowing the scalp to breath is important to increasing hair density. This method is great for about three weeks at a time. It is like a cap, but the wind will not lift it off! Please check out my removal article as well.