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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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.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Review: Black Mamba or Black Mambo?

It's hair! Thank God because I am scared of snakes!!!!

24" Havana Mambo Twist Hair by the Janet Collection for Crochet interlocking. Price: under $10.00 USD.

The 12" version is supposed to be on back order. No one around town had it.

I cut this 24" kanekalon/toyokalon twist hair in half to complete my first crochet braids client.  The ends were not uniform and gave a more highly textured look.  Some people are satisfied with some extra frizz.  Others are not.

The latching is different because of one open end and one closed end.

About 12 of these come in one pack.

2015 Veteran's Day Loc Looks

As a former IBMer, I salute all those who have fought for our American freedom!

I also appreciate this Marines shirt that I was given as a gift.  It is a little too big, but I love it! I hope you love the extra curl in my locs too!

I have been "wrap and rolling" my locs at night with these animal print "wrap snap and go" rollers. I have highlighted these rollers on this blog in the past.  They are pillow soft.  Sally's Beauty supply stores has sold them in the past.


Sunday, November 8, 2015

Crochet Braids on Relaxed hair by Benita Blocker

Crochet Braids using Mamba Havana Twists by Benita Blocker.

My client has relaxed hair.  The braiding pattern was inspired by youtuber Sadora Paris.

Using one 24" twist cut in half, I filled the first track in the bang area.

One 24" twist expands quite a bit.

This is about 7 Twists cut in half.  So 14 pieces.  This is a sideview of the client.  3 packs of the 24" hair will be more than enough for this medium length look. The brand of the hair is Janet.

After cutting the twists for shape, we tried the side part look.

I then cut the bang area for a flatter look. Please remember that going from a relaxed straight look to a highly textured look is mindblowing.  It can take a few minutes or even a few days to get used to the new look.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Salon water Testing Using pH testing strips

Clorox Spa 5-way test strips can be purchased for around $11.00 USD for a 50 strips container from Walmart stores in the swimming pool section.  When I was at the ISSE Long Beach Hair show earlier this year, one of the instructors mentioned that our tap water in our shampoo bowls may not be 7.0 pH because of the additives in "city water." I have been curious about my salon water pH ever since then.

The strips test for bromine, alkanity, pH, chlorine, and hardness.

The strip on the left is the results after the salon testing.  The strip on the right is the unused test strip.  My salon water is soft as I was already informed about the city water.  However, the pH of my salon water seems to be elevated into a more alkaline pH.  It is not a toxic alkalinity but low pH conditioners are going to very important to every hairstyle to keep the hair cuticle sealed.  I hope to publish my 2015 Favorite products soon!!!

It is strange that people are buying more and more alkaline water to balance their acidic nature when the tap water appears to be alkaline already.

A 2015 Halloween Home Run

I'm celebrating 1,000,000 impressions for my blog!  (One million impressions and over 700,000 pageviews) This picture was my 2015 Halloween look!  I called it "Under the big top!"  It has been a big hit!

Also, the World Series was playing this past week.  I decided to wear a textured wig one day, and in 30 minutes, I had men- White, Black, short, and tall just flirting with me as I ran my errands. "That good hair" look is a "home run" everytime. Laughing out loud.  It doesn't have to be real hair - it just needs to look good.

As this was happening, I remembered a natural hair client telling me that she received more compliments in the two weeks that we did a perm rod set with me than she had received in the whole two years that she was natural.  This wig made me feel the same way.  

I also have a loc client who wears nothing but all types of textured wigs in different colors.  So I am thinking about doing the same thing for the winter months.  Of course, I will keep everyone posted with monthly check-in's!

This "Big Apple" cookie reminded me of my salon Applebaum Salon. 
Bringing a taste of the Big Apple to North Carolina.