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, August 25, 2015

Three Years One Month Sisterlocks Anniversary

Liquid Chalk color and a rubber band shows off some loc length.

I just completed a liquid chalk color refresh yesterday.  Strategic placement of the color makes a little go a long way.  (Please see other articles on this blog for more information on the Liquid Chalk application.)

The reflection of the back of my head is in the mirror in this cameraphone picture.  My hair/locs are shoulder length on most days and  much longer when it is wet. My wet check-in post will have to come up soon.

37 months and counting . . . .

Thursday, August 20, 2015

It's my 6th Blog Anniversary Month!

Fresh fruits, HerbaLife nutrition, Workouts and Body Transformation Challenges have all had me preoccupied.  This month is my 12th hair salon anniversary, and my 6th anniversary for this hair blog.  In addition, three years and one month is around the corner for my Sisterlocks.  I will do my usual check-in soon.  So stay tuned.  

On a separate note, I have been tweeting more.  I also plan on working on some fantasy hair themes as well as some more videos on blow drying natural hair.  Social media is a workout all by itself.  As soon as my weight loss challenge is over, I will be so happy.  I hope that I place in the contest, because it has been consuming me.  When I am not working on hair, then I am working out.  I will be refocused before October with more educational posts!  Thanks so much for your support and following me!  The best is yet to come!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Bronner Brothers August 2015 Hair Show

The August 2015 Bronner Brother Hair Show showcased names like Paul Mitchell and Kim Kimble.  It also highlighted manufacturers:  Design Essentials and Avlon.  The classroom assignments were easy to find.

This particular show had a "mainstream" feel to it like a Premiere Orlando or ISSE Long Beach.  However, the size of the show was much smaller than ever before.

When I saw that a "Fantasy Hair" class was being offered for FREE, then I was sold! Bronner Brother August 2015 Hair Show was the place to be.   Ampro Gels and "Weaven Steven" did not let me down.  I literally have been praying that I could find a class on fantasy hair, and my prayers got answered.  I was inspired and empowered at this show. I only attended the event from 11am to 4pm. I completed two classes.  Mixed Chicks had one about embracing curls along with the Fantasy hair class hosted by Ampro Gels.  After my free classes, I was back on the road before traffic got too bad in Atlanta.  

Another "Weaven Steven" hair artwork: Bird of Paradise.

Pictured is the scene at 11:30am on a Sunday.  I decided not to pay $40 to go onto the exhibit floor because I felt that I could get products shipped directly to my salon for about $10 in shipping charges.  I also had no intentions of spending hundreds of dollars.  I used to plan for $100 to 300 spending budget, but in light of the hair trends now, half the women in the USA are NOT even wearing their own hair.  

And those who are wearing their own hair, I have seen so much variety in hair that the trend seems to be "NO consistent trend!"  My most popular salon request is crochet braids, but honestly, I have not put forth the effort to master the technique because I do not think it looks natural on people.  It is cute, but most times, the technique screams "not mine" which seems to be a trend as well.  I personally am not ready to attach my name to the latest trend.  The fantasy hair pushes creativity for special occasion hair and hair competition.  That excites me!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Preteen Natural Hair Straightening and Styling

My client is age 9 and is too young for chemicals and smoothing treatments.  We wanted to keep her final hairstyling age appropriate.

She had soft hair but the curl behavior was resistant.  This means that if I use too much product, the hair will look  stringy.  However, the resistance of the curl patten required some product in order to stay humidity  reisistant.

Her blow out went smoothly.  You can tell her by her big plaits unwinding on their own that this was a sign of resistance.

Her hair delivered a beautiful press, but at age 9, a ponytail was calling!

Preteen hairstyling by Benita Blocker.

The conventional stove and marcel irons were used to straighten this model's hair.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

My Texture Unleashed

Styling Agent:  Tropical Roots Moisturizing Sculpting Foam (digital camera picture)

PureologyVolume Shampoo, Abba Moisture Shampoo, No conditioner, No oils! (cameraphone picture)

Goal:  Texture, Volume and Hold!

Nairobi Hair Care Line Shows Inconsistencies

So the Nairobi customer service agent who had an Asian accent says it is normal for their products to vary in  color and consistency.  So my inquiry about the product performance will be disregarded.  She says that they have had no complaints about their product.  Although, one of the local distributors, to my recollection, did mention returning some bottles recently because of the white "syrup" look of the product.  However, the customer service agent denies any knowledge of any complaints. They suggest stirring or shaking the products up before using.

The bottle on the left was manufactured in 2014.  The bottle on the right was manufactured in 2015.  The same Nairobi customer service agent says their products do not expire.  Wow!  That is scary.  No expiration date.

  • Inconsistencies in color and composition
  • No expiration dates
  • Cynical Customer Service

I personally do not feel comfortable purchasing the Nairobi line anymore.  I will be working on finding a replacement for their styling agents. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Natural Hair Movement 2015

"Only ghetto chicks are still getting their hair relaxed."  This statement is the opinion of some  professional Black women as I heard through the grapevine. In addition, I went to a fraternity party last week, and I was surprised to see the number of flat twists, braids, Afros, and other naturals gracing the scene.  Relaxed hair was in the minority. Microlocks were in  minority.  The age range was 30 and up. It was a "grown and sexy" crowd.  So what is your opinion?

Here is my opinion:
  • Many Black women who have risen through corporate ranks have "mixed" hair to begin with.  So I can see how they feel that they can embrace their own natural/mixed hair. Relaxers were more of an enhancement for them, not a necessity.
  •  Majority of my clientele still get relaxers, and they are professionals who recognize that their hair does not fall into the "mixed" category so they conform by using the chemicals to do so.
  • In light of the fact that starting dreadlocks can be damaging to one's career, one's livelihood, one's sanity, and even one's life as it relates to police brutality, I plan to discontinue taking on new loc clients unless they are personally referred.  I realized that chemicals and salon tools can make my job easy, and I make more money offering chemicals. I have also added more safeguards to make the chemical processes healthier resulting in healthy hair with chemicals.
Any thoughts?

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Tonia Haircut Created by Benita Blocker

My client ordered me to give her a fresh haircut. So I created this "Tonia haircut" from my own creativity.  There are those who follow trends, and then there are those who set the trend.

Because my client, Tonia, has different curl behavior between her left and right sides, her right side never really breaks.  She achieves maximum length, and I wanted to embrace that with a long bob look.

I turned her left side into a medium length bob. Styling was completed using the conventional stove and marcel iron.

So the "Tonia haircut" is a medium to long assymmetric bob created by Benita Blocker.

Age Is Only a Number

Which of these clients is in her sixties? 
(age 60+, the answer is at the end of this article.)

I used the Paul Mitchell relaxer and Beth Minardi liquid demi-permanent color layered with Avlon MoisturColor on my client to achieve this color.  The Vertical roller set placement was completed using mostly red mesh rollers and Nairobi Setting Lotion. My client did not want me to disturb her curls too much so I just finger styled her roller set.  Hair by Benita Blocker

Beth Minardi creme demi permanent color,  blowdry/style by Benita Blocker

The Answer:
Both of these clients have all white hair that I color on special occasion, and BOTH of these ladies are in their sixties.  Did you guess right? The answer is both.

Friday, August 7, 2015

The Modern Relaxed Bob Haircut by Benita Blocker

Healthy, Relaxed Bob Haircut by Benita Blocker

Go from Conservative to Sassy with a Flip! Hair by Benita Blocker

My client is on the VitalePro High Comfort Relaxer.  She gets touchups about every 7 to 9 weeks. This modern bob can be worn conservative or windblown. I used the conventional stove and marcel irons to achieve this look.  I prefer the rich texture that the marcel irons deliver in lieu of the ionic plug-in flat irons.  My clients benefit from healthy hair practices that show the beauty of their true textures.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Conventional Natural Hair Straightening

The Final:  Healthy Hair by Benita Blocker

BEFORE:  Freshly conditioned with a cocktail of Avlon MoisturRight Hair Repair Masque and KeraCare Humecto for 30 minutes.  I also sealed the ends with Abba Color Protection Conditioner.

Blow dry completed.

Pressed, Trimmed, and Curled Hair by Benita Blocker

Humidity Blockers used:  Kayvel Creme Press, Kayvel Curl Wave/Wax, and Big Sexy Hair Weatherproof spray.  Since my model's hair is resistant, I am not worried about her loosing any natural curl when she decides to go back curly.

Conventional stove with marcel irons were used.  This model received the Texture Release service in December 2014.  Her hair responded better to my traditional straightening method versus the smoothing treatment.  So I do not recommend smoothing treatments for those with resistant hair.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Mesh and Magnetic Roller Sets with Color Baths

Gray Color Coverage plus Ivory Mesh Roller set by Benita Blocker

Relaxer Touch-up plusYellow Magnetic Roller set by Benita Blocker

This particular client has resistant hair.  Affirm Mild does not break the bonds enough to prevent them from reforming into its original state.  So Affirm Normal is the only relaxer that straighens her without irritating her highly sensitive scalp.  Resistant hair typically hold on to roller parts so it is a lot of work to blend.  We are pleased with her regimen.

Both clients have incredible shine in their final finishes.  It was achieved with Sebastian Cellophone semi-permanent color on my longer hair client in order to tone highlights, and on my medium length client, Dudley Clear semi-permanent color was cocktailed with her treatment.

Roller sets can keep relaxer clients' hair healthy.