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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Friday, September 25, 2015

Posted Nail Jewelry for Locs?

I pierced my locs with some posted nail jewelry.  I was experimenting to see if it could be used as loc jewelry.  I found that I could not control the jewelry to remain topside.  So I decided it was not going to work.

The posted nail jewelry is held by a hexnut.

I pierced through the softer spots in my locs to experiment.  No harm to try something new.  Hopefully, this experiment gives someone else some new ideas too.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Natural Hair Curl Comparison the 3D version

I have had a lot of natural hair questions lately.  I hope that this video helps.  If you are not sure of your curl pattern, then stretch your relaxer touch-up out for three months.  Flat Twist styling or other curly looks will blend in the textures. I do discuss curl reformation in this video as well.

Friday, September 18, 2015

My Concert Look: Janet Jackson Unbreakable Tour 2015

Used the Tropical Roots Black Jamaican Castor Oil and Foam for a braid-out.

Lawn seat view of the concert

Just in case the weather got cool, I grabbed a jacket, and I wanted to sport my shades that my late great aunt gifted to me.

My three years and 2 months loc-versary is next week.

PNC Music Pavilion

Janet Jackson's show was high impact!  18,000 in attendance. Sold out.  I heard that they ran out of parking. Seven mile backups. They plan to partner with Uber in the future to provide designated dropoff and pickup locations. Many missed the concert which lasted under 2 hours due to traffic. I cannot imagine the pavilion any more full.

Review: Weave A Wig

Weave A Wig is like a detachable sew-in.  It is a wig construction with a net to sew down the perimeter.

Between relaxers, permanent color, aging, stress, and years of extension wear, my client's hair needed a break.  The cooler weather was coming, and we decided to give the Weave A Wig a try.  We had to cut the exotic length off to make it more practical for everyday activities.  The cost is around $50 USD, and we love it!

No shifting, No turning.  It is secured with thread and a perimeter braid around.  The hair is a human hair blend.  It can withstand moderate heat for curling. If someone is sleeping and working out and wearing it continuously, then it should last about 3 to 4 weeks before a replacement is needed.

The optional invisible part requires 6 inches of length to blend in the invisible part.  In addition, we left her perimeter hair out to blend.  The human hair blend in the color 4327 delivers a natural hair look.  The rest of the hair underneath the unit can be braided down.

Wet Check-in: Sisterlocks at 38 months

I am a week away from three years and two months Sisterlocks anniversary.

I may have skipped my wet check-in last month.  I definitely did a regular check-in.

Length gain seems more noticeable every other month in comparison to a monthly check-in.

The tightenings at the roots extends the length too.  I am still on-going with self tightenings.  Thanks for following me on this journey!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Thermal Reconditioning with the Basic Hair Care System

I finally experienced an "express" smoothing treatment application that was easy, quick, and it delivered fantastic results.  The Basic Hair Care System's One Step Treatment worked as "easy as pie."  I found the perfect match of hair texture for the system.

Healthy Hair by Benita Blocker, 2015

My model's hair was treated with the Avlon Texture Release System back in December 2014. The results were documented in a different article on this blog.  We decided to try the  Basic One Step Smoothing Treatment this trial, and it was "like heaven."  I believe the Avlon Texture Release system was too heavy of a product for her hair.  The Basic Smoothing system is a lightweight foam, and it made the whole process simple without even going under the platform dryer.

This is my model's "before" picture.  Again, nine months ago, we completed the Avlon Texture Release thermal reconditioning system.  Her resistant curl pattern did not lose its curl. Her cuticle is overall smooth in texture. She finds that heavy oils dry her hair out which is probably why the Avlon Texture Release system did not style very well for her.  That system is a Royal Jelly based system.  The Basic One Step Treatment is a much lighter product; so styling was phenomenal.  We were very pleased with the results.

The left side was a blow dry without any leave-in conditioners.  The right side was a blow dry with the Basic One Step Treatment Foam already applied.  After I applied the foam to both sides, I let her sit at room temperature with a plastic cap for 20 minutes.

Then we blow dried the "foam processed" hair again.  No rinse required.  The Basic Hair Care System Smoothing Treatment requires two blow dry services but only ONE ironing service.

Healthy Hair by Benita Blocker

I flat ironed and curled using the Paul Mitchell Smoothing (flat) iron.  The hair did not smoke.  We achieved incredible shine.  Based on Design Essentials education, flat irons are recommended for smoothing treatments to avoid removing the smoothing product from off the hair.  The conventional stove and marcel irons are discouraged because the direct heat may work against the smoothing treatment for maintenance purposes.

As much as I wanted to resist using the flat irons, this natural hair movement has forced me back to flat iron use as required by smoothing treatments.

Disclaimer:  The results from these smoothing treatments will vary based on the texture and porosity of the hair that you are working with. My model wanted smooth curly hair versus bone straight styling.  The treatment is said to last up to 20 shampoos. The results will vary.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Natural Loc Transplant

I finally shed my first Sisterlock.  I mentioned in a previous article that I had about three Sisterlocks in the back of my head that have been consistently temperamental over the years.  They are in the same area where I would get consistent breakage periodically while trying to maintain relaxed hair.  Judging by the diameter of the curls in that area, the locs were too big for interlocking, and judging by the curl behavior, twisting works best for that area instead of interlocking.

Well, the good news is that I decided to transplant this loc to my sideburn area where I just split the Sisterlock.  I just shared in a recent article on this blog about loc splitting.

Now, I have transplanted my "lost loc" to the front.  I fed the top of the "lost loc" through the root of the shorter split loc and twisted it.  It looks flawless! I love it!  

So I have two more locs from the back that I will plan for transplanting when they are ready.  Combining is not an option because the locs are the wrong sizing for that area.  Usually combining locs does work to prevent losing locs, but i had three adjacent to each other.  I am not interested in a super large dragon loc area.  I will just plan to transplant the other two locs when their time comes.  I also letting that small area "afro" up to see what it wants to do since interlocking works against it.  Most of my head of hair has a little wider diameter of curl patterns. Interlocking is still working for the other 95% of my head.

Please see other articles on this blog regarding temperamental areas.

Monday, September 7, 2015

From 'Fro to Flow: Thermal straightening

We just finished the blow dry service which delivered a big 'fro a.k.a. afro.

She did not want to lose her natural texture so I used the Mizani Thermasmooth Serum and Anti-Humidity Spritz along with Kayvel Pressing creme.  If her hair was more fine, then I would have skipped the Kayvel Pressing Creme.  Some people have mentioned that the Kayvel can cause hair to become heat trained so I would use caution depending on the hair texture and long term goals of the client.

Healthy Hair by Benita Blocker

Conventional stove and marcel iron made it flow.  It does not have the movement of a relaxer or a smoothing treatment, but it showcases a relaxed look without worrying about losing one's original texture.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Deep Red: Gray Coverage on Relaxed Hair

Healthy Hair by Benita Blocker

Pictured is a Paul Mitchell relaxer service followed by Design Essentials Colaura Semi-Permanent hair color in Passion/Deep Red color.

The client was already reddish copper in  hair color with gray and white hair present as well. I had to apply hair color to the whole head from root to tip to make sure of even color distribution.  I used a brush application.  I conditioned the hair before applying this color because I performed a same day relaxer service.

I did not mix anything with this color.  I used 90% of the new 4 ounce bottle on one medium length, thick head of hair.  Areas of the client's hair that was more 100% gray/white, it had a little "flame" to it, but it was not bad at all.  As long as the hair is not parted in the slightly "flaming" area, then it all blended nicely with the styling.

My First Sisterlock Split: Before and After

I have discussed loc splitting on this blog in a previous article, but I had never completed my own loc split until now. 

The situation:  I had a corner, sideburn Sisterlock that was too fat.  I wanted more styling versatility so I began "y" tightening it over the last six months or so. Finally, I felt that it was ready for the final split.  Can you see the "Y" before I cut it above?

So I cut the "y" apart.

Then I retighened/interlocked both newly separated Sisterlocks.  From one to two locs.  The second loc is much shorter, and it will be three years behind the rest but it is all good. Mission complete!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Review: Willie Morrow's Unbreakable Nozzle

Some natural hair clients are scared of a blow dry service using a brush so having a dependable comb attachment is necessary.  I paid around $20 USD for this Willie Morrow's Unbreakable Thermo Blow Dry Nozzle, and it was well worth it.

I had to use a real screwdriver in lieu of a jeweler's screwdriver to secure the attachment to my twin turbo hair dryer neck.  The nozzle withstood the heat from the dryer, and the teeth did not break.  The attachment stayed secure.

There are three different sized inserts to adjust this comb attachment to all sizes of handheld blow dryers.

So you are wondering who benefits from using this comb attachment?  The answer: Those with long, resistant, type 3 hair.  I do not recommend any type of comb attachment for fine hair nor for short hair nor for hair that is not properly detangled before use.

The client that I used it on had booty length, thick, resistant, type 3 hair.  The blow dry service was 1.5 hours.  My average blow-dry time for relaxed hair is 20 minutes.  So massive thickness and massive length made this unbreakable, heavy duty comb attachment priceless.

In the past, this same client's hair was causing the teeth to break on regular comb attachments.  Also, holding onto other "clamp on" blow dry attachments were challenging.  

With this natural hair movement, I suggest keeping one of these in your salon tools inventory for those special occasions where a brush will not work due to customer request or otherwise.