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, April 29, 2013

Tool Review: Donna Hair Threader

I just picked up this threader from Sally's Beauty Supply.  It is designed to be used with the microlink method of installing hair extensions.  However, it could easily be used as a bead threader or an interlocking tool for locks.

Price was around $3.00.  Not bad for a multi-purpose tool.  Micro-links extensions also require a second tool that resemble pliers.  One inch of hair at a time should always be used for anchoring micro-links.  There is more strength in numbers when it comes to hair.

Product Review: Mizani Cutting Solution

Do you remember the "brilliance" of hair when the flat irons and all the moroccan oils were "the new hot trend?"  The hair had "crazy shine" and bounce.  Then diminishing returns started happening.  The silicones started drying out the hair, and the flat irons started frying out the hair.

Now, what if I told you that this Mizani Cutting Solution when used as a leave-in conditioner delivered that "exceptional" hair finish?  Well, I added this spray into my blow-dry services without any hair cutting because of the almond glycerides and  its moisture retention properties.  The final finish on everyone's hair no matter what the texture was absolutely awesome.  I am talking exceptional hair.  I was completely blown away.  It took my work to the next level of fabulous!

This cutting solution is a part of the Master's line.  I believe that they may be discontinuing it.  If they are discontinuing it, then it may be because of poor sales???  Honestly, most of us do not dream about "what our next cutting spray is going to be."  Rewetting the hair with water has always worked.  So I can imagine that no one wants to pay a lot of money for a cutting spray, but this one has a high concentration of glycerin and no propylene glycol.  I am in love with this spray as a leave-in moisturizer.

If it starts to have diminishing returns, then I will let you know, but for right now, this spray is the best thing since "sliced bread."

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Certified Sisterlocks Consultant: Rosa Crawford

 Certified Sisterlocks Consultant Rosa Crawford is avoiding me at all costs.  I have called her, texted her, and sent her mail by Federal Express.  She will not stand by her work. 

She even had this attorney to write me a letter to avoid hearing from me.

I asked her at my initial formal Sisterlocks consultation to put her "quote" in writing.  So as seen in the picture of the piece of plain paper above, $750.00 total minus the $125.00 cash deposit left a balance of $625.00 due at completion of the Sisterlocks locking session.  This was the agreement six weeks prior to the locking session.  I had to hand this sheet of paper back to her for her signature.  She did not seem to want to sign it.  Maybe because it was a paper trail?  At this point, I expected her to order my Sisterlocks starter kit since she had a $125.00 USD cash down payment.

But no, she did not order the starter kit prior to my locking session. The starter kit includes the paperwork to send into headquarters in order to receive my Sisterlocks birth certificate as seen in the first picture above.  After begging for my starter kit which should have been given to me at the completion of the locking session, this consultant told me that many consultants do not even offer the "starter kit."  She eventually gave my starter kit to me.  I could not believe the horrible business etiquette that I was encountering with this consultant.
I brought my own receipt book during the locking session because she did not have one at the consultation.  I paid her $300.00 cash after the first 12 hour day.

On the second 8 hours day, I paid her the final $325.00.

So let me explain even further, the only paper trail of Rosa Crawford even doing my hair was by every effort on my part.

1) I had to insist on the starter kit in order to send my paperwork into Sisterlocks headquarters for my Sisterlocks birth certificate.

2) I had to insist on the "$750.00" quote be put into writing with her partial signature.

3) I had to bring my own receipt book and insist on her signing off on my two payments.

If I had not insisted on all of these steps to show a paper trail, then I without a doubt think that Rosa Crawford would have denied that she had even completed my head of Sisterlocks.  I would have had absolutely NO proof of the cash that I paid her.  Who collects $750.00 USD CASH without providing the customers with receipts?????

I can not begin to put into words how disgusted I am with the way this woman has treated me, how she failed to provide me with Sisterlocks within the Sisterlocks parting card sizes, and how I know that I am not the only one who has felt scammed by her.

I have asked for $417.50 to be returned to me because I will need to get some of my locks corrected.  This amount is half of the locking session plus half of the first retightening session($85).  I have tried to resolve this  matter privately and in a professional manner, but she consistently ignored all of my attempts.

As stated in previous articles, Rosa Crawford does have some satisfied customers.  However, I know that I am not the only dissatisfied customer.  She was constantly ready to blame the client for any and everything that went wrong with their Sisterlocks based on the discussions that I had with her on the four to five times that I was serviced by her.

I really, really recommend that anyone that uses Rosa Crawford for Sisterlocks services should insist on a paper trail by bringing your own receipt book.  I would take pictures of your hair before and after if she completes your locking session.

She told me that she is used to "more laid back" clientele than I.  She said that she did notice something different about me. This discussion happened while arguing with her via telephone about not receiving my Sisterlocks Starter kit.  She also mentioned that she learned her lesson.  She will have to make sure she provides the starter kit in the future.  Excuse me,  but that is a part of the Sisterlocks package anyway.  She seemed very manipulative and eager to shift blame and make you feel inferior to her as the "certified Sisterlocks consultant" at every service visit.

Rosa Crawford does not stand behind her Sisterlocks work and refuses to resolve my situation as two adults.  Because we are both now active with Sisterlocks headquarters, Sisterlocks is being as neutral as possible at this very moment.

However, at the end of the day, the bottom line is that "the customer is always right."

Sisterlocks: Snapped off

First of all, this Sisterlock did not come from my head.  Also, there is a shadow in the picture above.  The single Sisterlock is laying on top of my fingers.  Anyway,  it came from a lady who wanted my opinion.  Her consultant blamed her health as a reason that her Sisterlocks were coming from out of her head.  I decided to analyze this Sisterlock.  It is of my opinion that the coiling of the Sisterlock at the end into a knot when fed through the roots caused the Sisterlock to completely snap away at the scalp.

So her Sisterlock consultant who was the same consultant that put my Sisterlocks in, does not want to take any responsibility for her work.

With all of the knots on my ends from my leftover relaxed hair, I am guessing that some of my hair has snapped at the hands of non-caring certified Sisterlock consultants.  Because my Sisterlocks are mostly large and too large parting sizes, I lucked out that any snapping was probably to a mininum.  Although, I asked for "micro" Sisterlocks and received much larger Sisterlocks than I requested, but at least, I still have the majority of my Sisterlocks still in tact to my head.

I never imagined how scary and surreal this Sisterlocks Journey could be.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Certified Sisterlocks Consultants: Worth the Risk?

I felt compelled to share one more Sisterlocks related story that I witnessed that may assist others in making a safe and informed decision.

I met another young lady who was seven months pregnant with twins.  She had just driven 1.5 hours to have her Sisterlocks tightened by a certified Sisterlocks consultant.  Unfortunately, the only certified Sisterlocks consultant in her city discontinued offering Sisterlocks.  I asked her if there was a Registered Sisterlocks Trainee in her city.  There was one, but she preferred a certified Sisterlocks consultant.  She was a cosmetologist herself and wanted only the best for her hair.  (Sounds familiar?)  I asked her "what was she scared of" regarding being serviced by a Sisterlocks trainee.  She worried about the technician not putting enough tension in the loops and leaving gaps.  (Please see my "learning about locks" article that I recently wrote to learn about tension and gaps.)

I told her that the tension can be taught, but she preferred a certified Sisterlocks consultant so she had made an appointment with the last Sisterlocks consultant that I had to retighten my hair.  I allowed this consultant to  pay a daily rate to work from my salon for one day.

This particular client had a lot of Sisterlocks in her head (at least 600?), and it took this consultant seven (7) hours to tightening this 7 months pregnant with twins client who still had another 1.5 hours to drive back home through Friday traffic.  This may not seem like a big deal, but I knew that this consultant took four (4) hours to tighten my own head of Sisterlocks at $30 per hour.  Within two weeks, it felt like they had never been tightened.  So for this pregnant client to be out of $210.00 USD, 7 hours of tightening time, gasoline, and 3 hours round trip commute, and I am willing to bet that her Sisterlocks were loose again within two weeks . . .

I am guessing that the Registered Sisterlocks Trainee within her own city is looking like a much wiser choice for future Sisterlocks services.  My concern is when people are risking their health traveling 7 months pregnant with twins for the sake of being serviced by a "coveted certified Sisterlocks consultant," only to realize that just because someone has the "certified Sisterlocks consultants" status does not mean that they are going to meet everyone's Sisterlocks needs.

Let me also add that I gently addressed my concerns to the consultant about her (slower) speed and (higher) pricing compared to other consultants that I have paid for Sisterlocks services, and she was not open to change nor further discussion.  Her response was that her speed is her speed.  She does the best that she can do and if people do not like it, then they can go elsewhere.  Of course for me, I told her that I will find other options for myself.  $25 per hour for 3 hours every six weeks is reasonable for me, but $30 per hour for 4 hours every 4 weeks (because she did not tighten with tension) was over my budget.  So I am going to allow my Sisterlocks to freeform until I decide what my next move is.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Learning about Locks: Dreadlocks

First of all, I am using the term "dreadlocks" because "locks" can be so broad of a term when it comes to hair.  Like Goldilocks, Locks of love, etc.  So "dreadlocks" is the best way to differentiate the type of hair that I am referring to.

In the picture above, my fellow Sisterlocks classmate, had some concerns about her recent Sisterlocks locking session that she had paid for and decided to become a Registered Trainee as well.  After class during the training period, the Master Sisterlocks instructor looked at her Sisterlocks because of her concern about how her Sisterlocks looked compared to others.  The Instructor corrected one of her Sisterlocks by sliding the loops down, adding tension, and adding additional loops into the Sisterlocks.  The corrected Sisterlock is the long one on the right.  The Sisterlock on the left is what it looked liked before "the Sisterlock correction."  Her hair doubled in length just by eliminating all the gaps that were left in the Sisterlock.

So now, imagine that her whole head of Sisterlocks may need to be corrected?  It is enough to make you cry?

 Of course, her Sisterlocks consultant may not have realized that their technique was not efficient or maybe they were going for "a less stringy" look?  Regardless, the client paying hundreds of dollars for the Sisterlocks service expects an expertise unless the client is paying a trainee.  Who is at fault?  The customer who is trusting the Sisterlocks professional, the Sisterlocks consultant, or Sisterlocks headquarters?

I do not have the answer to this question of responsibility, but this is what I do know:

1) Through my research, "interlocking" certain curl patterns is said to be damaging if done too often.  So Sisterlocks is an interlocking method, and it may not be the solution for all hair types.  I have met others that found their hair thinned out with Sisterlocks, and they had to come out of Sisterlocks into an afro.  "Stiff, coily, type 4 hair " should be aware of this possibility and monitor the thickness of their hair over the first seven months.  Sometimes it could be the Sisterlocks consultant's "tightening" technique.  Every consultant is an independent practitioner with different speeds and different approaches.

2) Some people have oily scalps; some people have normal scalp; some people have dry scalp. People with oily scalps will not need extra oil for their Sisterlocks.  Sisterlocks teaches that no one needs to add any oils or greases, but based on what I have seen, some of the stiff, coily, type 4 hair needs some extra help with moisture if their scalp does not naturally produce excessive oil.  However, I do NOT recommend grease or anything with buildup that will attract lint or dirt.  However, products like Jane Carter Solutions hair nourishing serum can be of assistance to certain hair types.  Careful with its usage, that particular Jane Carter Solutions product is not for the scalp- hair strand use only.

3) I also have learned that the interlocking methods such as Sisterlocks actually rotate the hair out of natural fall.  So if the hairtype is hard to lock, no one locking method is going to be the best fit.  What has worked for me is to combine two locking methods in order to make it hold then as the locks mature, one can start to narrow down one method.

4) Sisterlocks teaches only to use starter shampoo for the first six months or more depending on how long it takes for the Sisterlocks to settle in.  Those with normal to dry scalps and type 4 curl patterns may need some conditioning or moisturizing leave-in's.  Typically, type 4 curl patterns are not easy to unravel, but if anyone with a hair type that is easy to unravel, then they should stick with the starter shampoo to assist with speeding up the lock settling process.

5)  In addition, when choosing a loctician for any type of lock service remind the loctician that you do not want your locks doubled up at each service visit.  Also, ask the loctician to save any locks that might break off in order to mend them back.  Those with Type 3 curl patterns and oily scalps will less likely run into the breakage or mending of their locks unless there are a lot of gaps or holes in the locks themselves due to the locking technique.  Again, the lock on the left in the picture above, had a lot of gaps; therefore each gap can pose as a weak area within the lock for future breakage potential.

These are the philosophies of Loctician and Cosmetologist: Benita Blocker

Monday, April 22, 2013

Washing a Stocking Cap Wig

Yes!  It survived the shampoo service!  My custom made stocking cap wig needed to be shampooed to maintain a freshness from the weather and elements.  I forgot to mention that I got rained on.  So if it survived the rainfall, then I figured it should survive a wash.  It did fine.  I did Not shampoo inside the unit.  I focused just on the outside hair while it was NOT on my head.   I kept the unit right side up.  Some of the infusion hairline lifted off and another hairline track lifted partially.  All were easy and quick repairs.  I have to admit that it was harder for the freshly washed and conditioned hair to hold a curl.  Also, the velcro rollers that I originally used did not curl as neatly as I wanted.  I still had to use the hot curlers.

So as you can see, the stocking cap wig is in the ballpark, but I will have to re-curl it with some holding spray soon to give the curls some firmness or the wind is going to blow my curls back out.

So the glue and the stocking cap held up fine, and I used Herbal Essence Color Me Happy shampoo and conditioner.

Anti-Aging Hair Products- Important or Not?

For those who took my latest online quiz, you  know that all hair is dead . . .  so comparing anti-aging skin care products to anti-aging hair care products - there is no comparison.  Skin is alive.  Hair is dead, but the scalp is alive.

When I think of aging, I think of
1) gray hair and trying to keep those hairs colored
2) prescription drugs and their side effects
3) stress from the job, teenage children and aging parents.

Anything else, you can think of?

Well, I have clientele from ages 14 to age 84.  I myself will be age 43 this year.  I can tell you that all the crazy chemicals and colors that you experiment with at a young age can be done at any age, but if something goes wrong, your "recovery" is a little longer as you get older.

Also, many people are forced into double processing (permanent color and relaxers or permanent color and curly perms) due to graying.  Two chemicals compromises the integrity of the hair at any age.

I personally think that our scalp recovers from decades of abuse, but I will also say by the time you reach age 40, full recovery from relaxer burns and haircolor irritation may not happen.

If you are interested, you can research about DHT hormones and genetic balding which is a totally different discussion.

As far as retired individuals are concerned, I suggest discontinuing as many chemicals as you can if you do not have a corporate job to impress.

I also suggest that if your corporate job is stable and your manager is in agreement, "micro-locks" and "natural hair" should be considered as you approach age 40 or whatever age where you find that you are taking more prescription drugs.  For some people, that age is younger than age 40 and for others - well past age 40.

In addition, if you notice too much thinning, and you are age 24 - that is a clue that you are doing too much to your hair.

At the end of the day, your age is "nothing but a number."  If you have a drug-free lifestyle and try to stick to  healthy lifestyle choices most of the time, then you can be age 50 and double processed  and still recover quickly from some lazy hair days and too much curling iron usage for a week. I have seen it.

Your hair will stay as youthful as your body feeds it unless family history of genetics are beyond your control.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Calcium Buildup can make Hair Hard to Relax

Photo Credit:

Recently, I had a client to come in for a relaxer touch-up, but based on the swollen and rippled hairshaft that I observed in my analysis, I informed the client that I did not think that a relaxer would straighten her hair in the condition that it was in.  Her hair had two things happening from my observation.

Unlike the model in the picture above, I could not see the line of demarcation between the new growth and the rest of the hairshaft.  So I knew that a protein treatment was needed in order to heal and repair the strands so that I could really see where the new growth stopped.

Secondly, with all of the swollen ripples from the roots to the ends along with the history of home box relaxers, I knew that there was more than likely a calcium buildup.

So of course, after sharing all of my observations in the consultation, the client decided to allow me to detox her hair and complete a pure protein treatment.  Please see my separate article on detoxing the hair if you have questions on that procedure.  Her hair turned out beautiful with the two treatments and using heat styling.

The client returned two weeks later for her relaxer touch-up.  I still saw signs of calcium buildup, but the line of demarcation of the new growth was clear.  I proceeded with the relaxer touch-up.  The "lye" relaxer which happened to be Paul Mitchell regular strength relaxer eventually "broke through" the calcium or mineral buildup and began to smooth the new growth out.  I did not do any corrective relaxing.  I focused on the new growth at the roots only.  It relaxed straight enough to roller set it.  We were both happy.

It was a good call on my part to divide her hair into two different hair services.  Otherwise, paying for a relaxer service that probably would have not taken would be a waste of our time and her money.

Anyone using "no-lye" relaxers for years only to find that their hair becomes resistant to the relaxer should look at getting their hair detoxed before attempting relaxation again.

It is puzzling how "new growth" can have buildup except that relaxers actually can penetrate into the hair follicles and affect future hair growth.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Moving Part: Two Looks with One unit

My clients are saying "cute hair!"  Loving it but I figured I would make one little change.  I shifted the wig cap so that "mock part" would be on the opposite side.  Remember it's a "stocking cap" wig  so now I can wear the unit with the part on either side without any effort! Yeah! Two styles in one!
In the picture above, everyone is calling me "Farrah Fawcett."  By switching the part, I think the style becomes more modern.  Hair by Benita Blocker.

42 years young in 2013  . . .

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Topsy Tail Updo Hairstyling

Proms are around the corner . . . need updo ideas?  Well, the Topsy Tail hairstyling may be an answer!

Everything begins with a ponytail.  It can be a high ponytail or a low ponytail secured with an ouchless elastic ponytail holder.

The Topsy Tail and Topsy Tail Jr. tools are included in the kit.  What do they remind you of?

the Nappyloc tool?  A bead threader?   or a new interlocking tool for larger locks?

I now offer the Topsy Tail updo styling in my salon.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Custom Wig Cap Options

With the success of my latest custom "stocking cap wig, " I wanted to discuss the different options for the wig base.

The Weaving Cap is best for sew-in weaves.  The Adjustable Weaving cap is also good for sew-in weaves as well as sewing in clips for an additional secure fit.

The Wave Cap and the Wig Cap are similar.  The wave cap seems to fit more snugly around the hairline than the traditional wig cap.  Both are designed for gluing extension hair to them.  Hair pins can be pushed through the stocking material as well for added security.

So far the wave cap has not been too hot for me while sporting my latest look.  My Sisterlocks must be raising the cap enough for air to flow through it.  It feels good, secure, and breathable.

Apparently, a lot of the hair industry is about glamour, hair extensions, and wigs .  . . and less about hair.  I am going to try to add more hair topics soon, but I am also going to continue talking about the "pulse of the hair" industry - hair enhancements.

The SisterLocks Situation: On your Own!

As everyone knows, I was disgusted with the lack of business etiquette of my original certified Sisterlocks consultant.  I asked for small Sisterlocks all over, and it turns out she gave me mostly large and "too large" Sisterlocks.  I was laid off from my corporate hairdressing position within two weeks of wearing the Sisterlocks to the workplace.  I also saw where my Sisterlocks were hindering my sole source of income which is being a hair professional.  I spent money and time to fly to Boston, MA to become a registered trainee of Sisterlocks within three weeks of my Sisterlocks locking session because of the "less than perfect" experience that I had.  So with all of that said, I asked my original, certified Sisterlocks consultatnt for a partial refund to get my locks corrected, and she is completely ignoring my complaint that I sent via Federal Express to her.

I asked the Sisterlocks headquarter for help with my situation, and the Sisterlocks training Supervisor's response was that my certified Sisterlocks Consultant is an independent contractor and not directly an employee of the company.  I was welcomed to take the Consultant to court to get my damages from her.

 I could not believe how useless, non-sympathetic, unprofessional, and outright "waste of time" this Sisterlocks representative was.  She solved nothing.  She did not seem to have a professional protocol to follow.

The Sisterlocks company is celebrating 20 years of existence; yet, the founder still maintains her Associate Professor position with San Diego State University.  I am sure that she loves her position with the college, and it's a good thing because with the lack of professional accountability that the Sisterlocks headquarters is showing with my situation, I do not foresee the company exploding with growth any time soon.  I informed the Sisterlocks Training Supervisor that I would take my story public if they could not assist me in getting my fair, partial refund back from my original Certified Sisterlocks Consultant from their online list.  So this article is just the start of my bringing public awareness to my firsthand Sisterlocks challenges.

The picture that I included with this article is that of the distinguished Sisterlocks hand tool and a partial picture of the Sisterlocks Parting Sizes card.  Because Sisterlocks headquarters does not seem to be supportive to those feeling victimized by their recommended consultants, I suggest that people be open to hair services from locticians that possess this tool and parting card,  9 times out of 10, the person would have completed Sisterlocks training at some point in time.  As long as they have had Sisterlocks training, then they have been taught to offer Sisterlocks even if they are no longer active with the Sisterlocks headquarters.  If they are not active with Sisterlocks, then you probably will not get an official "Sisterlocks starter kit" nor "Sisterlocks Birth Certificate."  You may not become eligible to take the official Sisterlocks "self-retightening" class as well.  However, you may get a good price and a great job!

Considering Sisterlocks headquarters does not want to take responsibility for its independent contractors, I would say people should go by personal referrals like co-workers, relatives, or anyone that you see on a regular basis that will be able assist in holding the Sisterlocks person accountable.  Otherwise, referrals from strangers whose hair texture may not be similar to yours may not be a good fit for your own hair texture.  Every hair technician may have certain hair types that they work better with.

I encountered several flags prior to my official Sisterlocks locking session, but I ignored those flags only because I assumed that the Sisterlocks headquarters were actually governing the certified Sisterlocks consultants on their certified list, but now, I know that this is not the case.

In my experience, even if the person is considered Sisterlocks Certified, that does not mean that they are professional and will do a good job on your hair.  It does not mean that they have integrity and concern for your satisfaction.  Some certified Sisterlocks consultants are strictly about "making money" off the ignorance of potential clients who hold their Sisterlocks certification in high esteem.

I really, really encourage people to speak up and write Sisterlocks headquarters if their certified Sisterlocks consultant did not meet their expectations.  Headquarters may not do anything more than tell you the same thing that they told me - "you can sue her, but we do not have anything to do with that."

Also, regarding speed of the consultants, I just met another lady with beautiful Sisterlocks.  She said that she has 700 Sisterlocks, and her consultant retightens her locks within 2.5 hours.  However, her mom who has less Sisterlocks, lives in a different city, spends four hours getting her tightenings completed with her local Sisterlocks technician.  So everyone's retightening speed is different.  Everyone's pricing and professionalism is different.  Whether the Sisterlocks consultant is on the list of not, I strongly encourage people to trust their instinct.  Do not fall prey to the Sisterlocks recommended list as if it was golden. I would only use the Sisterlocks list as confirmation that they are active with Sisterlocks, but it does not guarantee their work, and neither does Sisterlocks guarantee your happiness.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Peer Pressure to be Pretty: Custom Looks

Hair and Makeup by Benita Blocker. 

I am loving the compliments on my new custom look.  People love the colors.  I used four different colors that I am probably never going to be able to duplicate again.  One of the colors is like a #6? and one of the colors I was experimenting with darkening blonde hair.  The amazing thing is that I would never color my own hair because of my tight curl pattern.  In addition, relaxer plus coloring is considered double processing, and anyone with double chemical processes compromises the integrity of their hair.

 Hair and Makeup by Benita Blocker.

As far as styling, I was trying to recreate my invisible braids look that I had a few years back.  Please see my separate article on invisible braids.  I can never find a wig to fall in the right places to frame my own face.  It is hard to buy a Customized look.  The cap of most wigs are for a mannequin head.  My head has never conformed to the perfect headshape of a mannequin.

Hair and Makeup by Benita Blocker.

With a custom made wig, I can achieve my crown lift right where I need it on my head.  I can get my length and partings to complement my own facial features.

I could not have purchased a wig from a catalog with the color and fit that this handmade unit delivers.

Questions about your headshape?  Please see my separate article about headshapes for wigs.

Peer pressure and politics drive us as children, young adults, and older adults.  The pressure to be pretty . . .

My hair never defined my intelligence nor my drive for life, but having the right look at the right time can make life so much easier.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

2013 Hair Quiz: How do you Score on hair?

1) Is "dead hair" and "damaged hair" the same thing?

2) How long do most people wear hair extensions before their own hair grows out long enough to go extension free?

3) Should you get damaged ends trimmed away before adding hair extensions?

4) Can semi-permanent dye or a rinse permanently change your haircolor?

5) Should your hairstylist rinse your chemical out or is it okay for the "shampoo girl" to do it?

The Answers:

1) "Dead hair" and "Damaged hair" are two different things.  All hair is dead.  If you cut your finger or your scalp then you bleed.  If you cut your hair, then you do not feel it because it is all dead.  Now, damaged hair is what you want trimmed away.

2) Most of my clients wear hair extensions about 16 to 18 months before they feel comfortable to go extension free. That's about a year and a half or 8 to 9 inches of new growth.

3)  Definitely do NOT go get a haircut then ask for hair extensions.  It is hard to blend a blunt haircut into hair extensions. Also, haircuts create more movement.  If you are trying to cover hair extensions, you do not need your hair moving opposite of the extension hair.  If you must get a haircut before your hair extensions arrive in the mail, then only ask for a very conservative trim.  Don't try to get everything completely even.  It is best to wear an updo or a hair accessory until the extension service can be completed and your hair is then cut and blended in.

4)  If you are flat ironing or using a lot of hot iron styling, then yes, everything on the hair can get pressed into the hair shaft.  Your rinse or "semi-permanent" color can become more permanent because it is being "baked" on.

5)  I strongly recommend that the hairstylist performing the chemical service do all of the rinsing and shampooing.  The shampoo girl is best for non-chemical services and rinsing conditioners out.  I would prefer to have a skilled eye on my hair when neutralizing a chemical.

So how did you score?

You had to get 3 out of 5 questions right to pass.  So comment and let me know if you passed or not!

Custom Made Removable Quickweave Wig

Custom Made Removable Quickweave Wig by Hairstylist Benita Blocker, 2013.

 My primary concern was to prevent any glue from getting in my Sisterlocks/hair.  Secondly, I wanted to create a straight, corporate look that I can grab that was custom fit to my own head!  Human hair that I can maintain as needed.

I started out with the U-Be Cap.  It is breathable; yet, it was designed to prevent glue from penetrating onto your hair.

Since the U-Be caps are no longer made, I wanted to protect it for reuse in the future.  I used wrap strips and paper towels held by a dot of hair glue to cover my U-Be cap.  According to the online reviews, the U-Be caps slipped off too easily. Most people complained about it moving around on their head during the day.      I am just using it as my first barrier against the hair glue.

I decided on using a wave cap versus a wig cap versus a weave cap.  I will have to do a separate article about the differences between the three caps.  I picked the wave cap because it fit really, really, tight and snug. I have heard others complained about wig caps loosening up so I figured the tighter, the better.  In addition, I had extra barriers plus my Sisterlocks to keep as compact as possible.

I started the quickweave at the back using Milky Way hair.

 The brown area on the wave cap is Roux Tween Time stick in Medium Brown color.  This area is marked for my invisible part.  ( Please see my other articles on this product and technique.)

I also planned to use the infusion hairline technique so the wefts can be placed however I need them to fall.  Please see my other articles for techniques.

I anchored some of the hair down to close out the unit.   Makeup by Benita Blocker.

I ended up tying a knot in the top of the wave cap. Then I glued underneath the knot.  Then I cut the knot off.  I then had a flat top to lay the remaining wefts on.

I custom closed this unit.  No separate closure piece was used.

I had completed all that I could complete while it was on my head!  

 So I took the new unit off.  I removed the U-Be cap.  Only a little paper towel residue was on it.  My hair was all clear.  My Sisterlocks were safe.

I wanted to use the sunlight for a better picture.  I cut and curled my new unit on the mannequin head and tripod.    

I also completed the infusion hairline while on the mannequin stand.  I found it hard to complete infusion hairline on my own head.  I could not get precision with my angling of my hands while the unit was on top of my head.  So the mannequin stand was great to finish the unit up and allow it to dry inside from the hair glue.  I did not want any residue on my own hair so I let it dry out.

I love my new unit!!!!  Hair by Benita Blocker, 2013.

 I used to cheap to mid-grade hair for this quickweave.  Sassy (from Sallys Beauty Supply), Joie Joie,  Milky Way.  I had a lot of inventory hair that needed to be used up.  It was not Remy, but it is better than some of the hybrid hair they have on the market now.  Besides, I would not want to put hair glue on Remy hair that I was paying $200 for.  The hair that I used probably appreciated in value over the years.  I am certain that I would have been out of over $100 if I had to buy hair from the store.

I did run out of the Milky Way and Joie Joie hair.  So I had to pull some Dena Cali hair that I had pre-colored as well as some Vienna Collection that I had pre-colored.  It is great to have a stash of hair to grab to piece a style together.

 Black Wrap Strips, hair glue and wave cap that I used for this technique is pictured above.

The medium brown stick that I used to mark the invisible part area.

The U-Be Weave cap package is pictured above.

I used this ceramic, non-ionic, $20 flat iron to curl the entire unit.  It worked fine.  I did not need anything more.

This completes my introduction to my removable Quickweave wig.  I charge around $200 to make this unit. Hair cost is separate.

Friday, April 5, 2013

To Create Texture in Short Locks

 Hair and Makeup by Benita Blocker.

In order to create the texture in this final hairstyle, I used the "Fuzzy Sticks" to flat twist my Sisterlocks.  Most people use the Fuzzy Sticks to create spirals in longer locks as discussed in one of my previous articles on this blog.

However, because I am trying showcase as much length as I can get at all times, I flat twisted my Sisterlocks  two horizontally across the front, and the rest of the flat twists going toward the back.
I dried my hair under the platform dryer until they were completely dry.  I used a wide stretchy headband at  night to stuff my locks to deliver volume at the roots on top of my head and  maintain texture within the ends of my locks.

Pictured above is the textured look after the fuzzy sticks were taken out of the flat twists and fingerstyled.

Unfortunately, my curl pattern still requires me to do something to it at night, otherwise my locks will straighten and stick straight out.  Seriously, I look like I stuck my hand in the electrical socket if I do not use the stuffed headband approach or pin curl them.  So the Sisterlocks are still not "no maintenance."

The biggest advantages that I see so far is that

1) I am not afraid of getting my hair wet
2) I do not have to use another chemical on my hair again
3) my hairline at my nape seems to be filling back in; I had forgotten that it used to be fuller years ago.