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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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Heavy Weight versus Lightweight Hair Accessories

One of these hair accessories weighs THREE times the other.  Can you guess which one?

Clip #1 by dcnl is very decorative and classy! (French Couture)

Clip #1 curves with the head.

Clip #1 weighs in at 3/4 ounces.  Almost a full ounce.  That's heavier than a letter in an envelope.

Clip #2 is the expandable ponytailer.  We have discussed this accessory a few times in past blog articles.

Clip #2 weighs in at 1/4 ounces.  It is barely there.

I discontinued use of Clip #1.  It is the weight of a bundle of hair extensions in one spot.  It is cute but overkill.  I do not think anyone needs that much weight in any one spot in one's head.

So Clip #1 weighs three times that of Clip #2.  Did you guess right?

Hot Rollers Review: Helen of Troy versus Babyliss Pro

I had two clients that I warmed up "hot rollers" to service over the last few weeks.  One needed a formal updo, but she was short on time.  The other wanted to re-curl her wig.  As much as I really liked the carrying case for the Babyliss Pro hot rollers, they did NOT pack much heat. They underperformed with both clients. 

The Helen of Troy rollers are metal, and you almost need a "finger protector" to sustain the heat of the rollers.  They curl the hair like a "hot iron."  I was too scared to use the Helen of Troy hot rollers  on the synthetic blend wig.  Hands down, the Helen of Troy hot rollers outperformed the Babyliss Pro hot rollers.

Both rollers are smooth.  The Babyliss Pro roller is more hollow, but I believe the plastic does not sustain the heat.  Ideally, I think the Helen of Troy metal hot rollers are overkill, and the Babyliss Pro rollers are underachievers.  I would love a hot roller set that fall in the middle of these two options.  Until then, I will stick with the Helen of Troy as my first choice.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Sisterlocks Check-in at 3 years 5 months

All my clients are starting to notice my Sisterlocks length at 3 years and 5 months.  Yes, it's my anniversary again!  I check-in every month. This is it!

I have a ton of hair accessories.  I pinning and clipping my front into partial updos.

I wet set my locs with perm rods three days prior to this little photo shoot.  I used the Lottabody Setting Lotion- the newest formula.  

I am still hand interlocking as needed and as I have time.  Life and Locs are all good!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas 2015: Jesus is Reason for the Season

I finally picked up some great loc jewelry from the beauty supply stores!  

I had to bind about six Sisterlocks together to get the loc Jewelry to hold, but I had fun! Jesus is the reason for the Holiday Season!

And it is good to have a little hair fun too!  (Like the Raindeer bun!)

Happy Holidays from PhenomenalHairCare blog!

Friday, December 18, 2015

The Healthy Approach to Long, Relaxed Hair

Hair by Benita Blocker

My client is 3 weeks post relaxer.  She gets the Paul Mitchell relaxer every 3 months.  We used the MoisturRight Hair Repair Masque cocktailed with KeraCare Humecto conditioner under medium heat for 18 minutes. A Processing cap and a regular platform dryer was all that was needed.  No steamer.  

We used red, hard mesh rollers and Jane Carter Solution Wrap and Roll foam.  One hour drying time was enough to deliver the results pictured above.

My client loves to just let her curls fall naturally.

Extra Long Locs: Short Look Solution

It takes about 3 hours to set this look with Lottabody setting lotion. The curly results last for weeks in your locs after you get tired of wearing the short look.  You just bend the "long loc" at the one third mark and twirl up and back down and let the end of the loc rest in the bottom loop.

The short look is adorable!  A great change from the daily cascading ponytail.

Thank you to my client for sharing her loc wet set!

Low Maintanence Partial Loc Updo

December 2015

I am a little past due for a shampoo, but I believe the flash from the camera may have caused a "dusty" look!  I used the expandable ponytailer to assist with my bun.  I have discussed this hair accessory on this blog before.

My Sisterlocks are 3 years and 4.5 months old.

No curls needed for this updo!   Yay!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

A Closer Look at Braidlocs

Braidlocs or 
Three strand twists plus interlocking

Interlocking can be used to achieve a well manicured loc look at the roots.

My client's curl pattern is a type 3. So even with my braiding with tension, her natural curl pattern re-adjusted the wide of the braids on their own.  We used perm rods and Tropical Roots Foam to dry set her hair.

With locs, how you start them does not matter, as they mature, they eventually transform into perfect locs. 

Often times if people have Sisterlocks or interlocks with too many loose ends, then I often recommend braiding the ends.   If you think about it, the braidlocs locking approach is in reverse order. 

My client will require a followup appointment to finish interlocking the back to achieve a well manicured look. Based on time constraints, we completed the core braiding with the intent to retighten roots at her followup appointment.

Fashion head Jewelry for the Holidays

Rhinestone head jewelry using comb attachments

The combs lay relatively flat.

It takes time to align the center of the headpiece in line with one's nose.

But I accomplished it!  A last minute glam up for my locs.

Holidays 2015

Yet Another Questionable Texture Release component

Avlon's Texture Release Thermal Protecting Mist

I decided to open this spray and discovered solid particles inside which I question if it is mold?  The batch code is 14F2704.  Outside of the shampoo that comes in the Texture Release kit, everything else has become instable.  I have documented another Avlon product with mold growth on this blog before.

I am sure that Avlon wants the best for its customers, and I am sure they are desiring to correct any defects.

I just caution people to definitely pay attention to the Texture Release kit products.  I am convinced that the Texture Release launch has been a failure.

March 2016 Update:  The bottle contents started to smell.

This dark liquid came from this bottle.  In the trash it goes!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Virgin Relaxer Service on HighLift Hair

Hair by Benita Blocker

After three years of maintaining natural hair, this client decided to return to the "relaxed hair world."  I used a virgin application process and the Paul Mitchell relaxer.  I used the Paul Mitchell super strengthener in process treatment during the neutralizing phase for her highlift ends.  I used the Beth Minardi liquid demi-permanent color to tone her color and blend in any gray hair. The Naked Max Foam was used for flat wrap molding. I also used the electric curling irons to curl her hair.

Hair by Benita Blocker
Relaxed hair can be healthy hair.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Yellow Perm Rod Wet Set on Loose Natural hair

Hair by Benita Blocker

The yellow perm rods are so small in diameter that the hair has several rotations around it. The ends of her hair will be more tightly curled and the base of the curls will be looser.  I also used the blow dryer and diffuser to fingerstyle and blend.

Crochet Braids: 22 inch Deep Twist on Relaxed Hair

Crochet Braid installation and hairstyling by Benita Blocker

My client wanted a center part as well as an option to wear a side part.  I custom designed her front cornrow pattern to accommodate this request.

She also had soft, fine, relaxed hair.  I placed a lot of small cornrows in her hair to make sure the braids could withstand tool manipulation.

I used my Sisterlocks hook tool instead of a latch hook because I felt the latch hook would loosen up the small cornrows too much.

The Freetress Deep Twist hair needs boiling water to prevent it from voluminizing too quickly.  I dipped the rods at the final finish because the client brought the hair, but in the future, I would pre-dip this deep twist hair in advance of the crochet braid install.

This hair is a very silky yet textured hair. The silkiness of it encourages a lot of movement in the latching of it.  I highly reccommend using double/triple latching to prevent the hair from working its way a loose by itself.

My client wanted a flat look where "less is more." We were excited about her new look!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Benita's Favorite Hair Products of 2015

First of all, anything on my 2014 List from November of last year that I still love will NOT be repeated on this list.  So let's get started!

Favorite Detangling Shampoo
Abba Moisture Shampoo (Great for transitioning from relaxer to natural!)

Favorite Deep Red/Burgundy Semi-permanent Haircolor
Colaura by Design Essentials' color name: Passion

Favorite Extra Cleansing Shampoo
Paul Mitchell Shampoo one

Favorite Cleansing Conditioner after Semi-permanent color application
Straight Request Power K77

Favorite Loose Natural Hair Haircolor
Beth Minardi Cream Demi-permanent Haircolor with 5 volume developer

Favorite Scalp Refresher Spray
Heritage Store Rosewater & Glycerin

Favorite Clarifying Shampoo after lightener/bleach service
Naked by Essations Detox shampoo

Favorite Color Sealer
Abba Color Protection Conditioner (pH: 2.5 - 3)

Favorite Color Alert Neutralizing Shampoo
Isoplus Neutralizing Shampoo and Conditioner

Favorite Kiddie Relaxer
ORS Olive Oil Girls

Favorite Jamaican Black Castor Oil Spray
Tropical Roots Jamaican Black Castor Oil Spray (light enough to use on fine hair, pre-blended with other oils for a subtle aroma)

Favorite conditioner with heat protection built in
Shea Moisture Professional Keravega Monoi Oil Complex Smooth Finish Conditioner

Favorite Gray Cover-up Temporary Solution
Color Wow Root Cover Up powder compact

Favorite Crochet Braid Removal Spray
Hawaiian Silky 14-in-1 Miracle Worker

Favorite Pre-Relaxer Scalp Protector
Syntonics Comfort Gel

Favorite Balayage Foil
Sunlights' The Balay Wrap

Favorite Hair Masque
Avlon Affirm MoisturRight Hair Repair Masque

Favorite Wig Detangler
HairUWear All Day Softness Leave-in Conditioner

Favorite Lightweight Foam for Relaxed, Fine Hair
Jane Carter Solution Wrap And Roll

Many products from my 2014 list are still my favorites as far as haircoloring is concerned.  So if you are going Christmas shopping or Black Friday shopping - print out this list as well as the 2014 version of my favorites list.

Happy Holidays!!!!!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Natural Hair Straightening using Flat Iron

Hair by Benita Blocker

No smoothing treatment.  No relaxer.  Client hair is already somewhat heat trained.

I decided that straightening with the conventional stove and marcel irons would be overkill for such fine hair.  With so many natural hair straightening requests, I have been forced to pull out the ionic flat irons.  I mainly focused on making more passes at the new growth of this client's roots. I used KeraCare overnight moisture treatment as a final finishing polish for flyaways.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

My Client: Before and After Retightening

I started my clients microlocs in May 2014.  She came in for her retightening with some curls. About four hours later with hourly breaks we finished tightening her roots.

Microlocs by Benita Blocker

Her curls were more controlled and organized after retightening the roots.  It was a lesson for me because I feel like I have a hard time holding curls, but I do not keep my roots evenly retightened.  This may be a reason why.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Loc-versary: 3 years 4 months wet and dry Check-in

I am about 10 days away from my 3 years 4 months Sisterlocks Anniversary. I needed to get dolled up for a Career Fair at the Beauty school. The weather stopped raining so I wanted to try for a wet set that should hold under normal circumstances.

So I perm rodded the ends and set under the dryer.  I took a picture of my length before rodding the back. I am gaining great length in light of the fact that I am more than halfway through my five year journey.

I am braiding and scrunching my locs every night to maintain my volume.  My real anniversary will fall on the Thanksgiving Day timeframe.  I am not sure if I will post early or late for my December/Christmas anniversary.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Relaxer and Roller Set Success in November 2015

Hair by Benita Blocker
(Relaxer and roller set, NO Extensions)

Hair by Benita Blocker
(Relaxer and Roller Set, NO Extensions!)

Both of these clients are on the Paul Mitchell relaxer system.  I now use color alert neutralizing shampoos as a part of the neutralizing process.  As I mentioned in a previous article on this blog, my salon water tested to be more alkaline in pH so I am now allowing the final neutralizing shampoo lather to sit undisturbed for five minutes to make sure the pH of the hair normalizes back closer to its acidic level.

Styling aid for coarser hair:  Nairobi setting lotion with Tropical Roots Jamaican Black Castor Oil spray.
Styling aid for fine hair: Jane Carter Solutions Wrap and Roll foam

Hair by Benita Blocker
(Two weeks post relaxer)

This client in the pink top is relaxed with the VitalePro High Comfort Regular Relaxer.  Her hair is naturally gray. Nairobi Setting Lotion (from concentrate) was used to roller set this client.