5.01.2014

A Tiny Hair Styling Routine

I was having some major styling issues with my hair recently.  It wouldn't.do.anything.  I couldn't even detangle it without shedding a tear or two and losing 2 hours of my day.  I knew something was wrong.  And just as I was picking up the electric shaver, I called my mother.

After an hour-long vent of cursing my mixed heritage, lamenting over getting my dad's hair and not my mom's latin waves, she asked me a simple question....

"When's the last time you trimmed your hair?"
I proceeded to count the years...

"4 years - to be exact."
yikes. embarrassing.

After that realization, I started re-thinking my hair story.  Was I the victim or has it been my hair all along?  I'd been trashing my hair.

 I pinpointed the most damaging things I do to my hair and began finding techniques to fix my habits.  One big solution was trimming.  I had to cut off four to 6 inches!! Waaaaaaaaaaaah!  It had to be done.  I also had to stop frying it with my blow dryer.

I got a new dryer.  A helmet dryer.  
The best helmet dryer on the market actually.  Eeee!


My blow dryer had been zapping all of the moisture out of my hair - even frying it and I had no clue.

She also asked me what products I'd been using.  [background: my mother is a retired hairstylist and an expert on natural coily hair]  

"Why can't you find Dove, L'Oreal or Tressemme at a salon??  Because stylists don't typically use them."

With my super fine, long, very tiny spiral curls I don't have the luxury (or time) of skimping on tested quality and buying drugstore products that have no professional proof of clear and positive results.  So I said goodbye the mediocre staples I'd been using and upgraded to some seriously fabulous stuff.  I had no idea what I'd been missing...

 I wanted to buy everything I picked up but the prices were triple what I'd been used to paying so baby steps:  Redken - a salon classic and Moroccanoil, the most valuable item in bathroom.

Redken: All Soft Shampoo / Moroccanoil: Intense Hydrating Mask (I use it as a daily conditioner)

I took my new toys out for a spin throughout the weekend and learned a lot.  Since I'd cut my hair oh-so-short, I wanted leeeeeeeength.  
I also wanted to keep my wash and go (because doing my hair causes me to have tantrums so the less I have to fuss with it the better).

Washing and going is not a great way to manage my type of hair once it's longer than like 8 inches.  Coily/kinky hair needs management.  

Shingling is the closest I could get to the wash&go.
my next best bet.  

I enjoy Miss Jessie's tutorials and they've broadened their 4-b/c hair tutorials so I was so excited to try their shingling method.



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So here goes...  This is my hair natural and wet after a shampoo and conditioner using the products displayed above.  
It was fully detangled in the shower, which only took 10 minutes!



1.  
Section
I sectioned my hair into 8 parts: 4 sections on each side.  And then an extra section for my bangs.  I only have 6 clips so I could only section half of my head at a time :)



2.
Shingle

Starting at the nape of my neck, I took parts of each section, re-wet it with my spray bottle and worked through a pea-size amount of my Moroccanoil styling cream into my hair.  Then I took my wide-toothed comb and ran it through, allowing my hair to begin clumping together into defined curls.  
I further defined the curls by wrapping them gently around my fingers.

step 1: apply styling cream to part of section / step 2: comb through hair / step 3: wrap curls around fingers



3.
Twist & Dry
Again, I wanted to retain as much length as possible so to add weight to my curls, I twisted them together into big sections - about 10 sections.  
Then popped my head under the dryer for a full hour.  



 The Pibbs dryer has a lot of heat settings and can get very very hot.  The first time I tried it, I used it's highest setting and my hair was fully dry in less than 30 mins.   BUT - higher heat settings zap the moisture from my naturally dry curls so I place the dryer on a cooler setting.  It takes more time to dry but my hair is shinier with plump, soft curls!


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After drying, I don't rush to the bathroom to untwist and style.  I let my hair settle a bit after being under the dryer.  The change in environment will aggravate the hair shaft a little (causing very light frizz).  I want to minimize frizz for my style so it's important to let my hair acclimate back to the air in my apartment while it's still in a twisted managed state before I let it free.  I clean up, do my makeup, get dressed, whatever.  



Ta da!   And the best part?   I only use 3 products and I only have to do this once to twice a week... with no maintenance!


But speaking of makeup....this is what I use now:


 I adore Milani, I swear by Bobbi Brown and e.l.f is a life saver!  

Bond No. 9 Central Park West is my signature scent and makes me weak in the knees smelling it even to this day.  

Moroccanoil Glimmer Shine is so far the best shine finishing spray I've ever used.  I spray it on as the very last thing right before I get dressed.  People have been asking me lately if I dyed my hair because the color is so deep and brilliant.  Nope, it's Glimmer Shine.

Antyways, that's a wrap for hair and beauty products for today.  I hope this new hair technique is fun, if you end up trying it for yourself.  It's so healthy and good for your curls!  It makes me feel like my curls are a blessing and not a curse.  And of course, you don't need a helmet dryer to get the same results.  Just do it the night before, wrap it and sleep with it overnight.  That works too.

I plan to talk more about Milani because this photo shows only a fraction of what I own of the Milani line.  I'm obsessssssssed with their lipsticks!!!!  More on that later.

What products do YOU swear by??
seriously, I want to know.  I think I opened a gateway...

34 comments:

  1. Beautiful. How do you maintain these curls day to day?

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    1. Hi Cocoa Muse! This style stays beautiful for about 4-5 days. I don't wrap it or touch it actually. I just kinda shake the style back into place every morning. On the 3rd day I do spray it with more Moroccanoil Glimmer Shine. I sleep on a satin pillowcase so that also helps keep it smooth. Thanks for asking!

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  2. I've a natural hair and what my hair to look like yours (infected by u), but looks like it takes a lot of work. Lol!! Wow! Thanks for sharing and you look very pretty.

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    1. Lol! Thank you Missy May :) I know it may seem like a lot of work but I don't do it everyday, I actually do it once to twice a week! And it practically maintains itself. Try it! You may love it.

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  3. um, oddly enough, we have the same hair story, only in reverse. i did this every day for yeeeeearssssssss, handtwitsing every curl, and then started going for a no-fuss routine after spotting your blog a while back! now, i swear by alaffia conditioner, dr bronners lavender hair cream, scrunching with a tshirt & a quick diffuse. it is SO interesting to see you taking this route now! you will be amazed at your arm definition after a month of this, for real. get ready.

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    1. Ha! That's crazy Oona! Lol, you are in for a fun time. Coming from a gal who did w&go's exclusively, they are thee best. I can't imagine shingling my hair everyday but I am Soooo loving the definition. I've never had it so I can't stop gushing over it lol! I'm so excited and even more knowing it worked for you consistently. Thank you for reading!

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    2. (by the way-- i meant curl definition as well as your guns, not a typo :)! i half expected to see mini schwarzenegger muscles in your new post today.)

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    3. Ha! Hilarious! I wish. That would be amazing if doing my hair gave me Michelle Obama arms. It should.

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  4. I can't believe you went all that time without a trim!! Lol..lol. Your hair is gorgeous and looks really healthy. Love your style of course!

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  5. alright. yeah. i need a trim. i havent trimmed my hair in three years. yikes! hahaha. but on the real, your hair is so freaking rad! loooove it. gotta get that redken shampoo and moroccan oil hair mask for my guy, his curls are never in control and theyre a little scary. maybe they'll help him!


    --Leeds
    at this volume

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  6. I. LOVE. YOUR. CURLS! And I totally wish I had a place to store that dryer because it's fabulous! Thanks for sharing chica!

    KLP | SavingOurStrands

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    1. Thank you girl! Thanks for reading!

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  7. you are one of my hair heros. I have incredible shrinkage but have learned to live with it because any kind of twirling or twisting or braiding or rolling or bantu knotting sends me right over the edge. i am strictly a wash and go kind of gal sometimes daily; no less frequently than three days. when you were wearing your hair straight, i was so afraid you were going to continue that. and as far as products, i have always believed in using the best of the best. i was wondering when you were going to let that dove fly away :) keep up the good work\

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    1. Aw! Hair hero, I love that! Thank you, and I've lived with shrinkage for years and accepted it because the miraculous simplicity of washing and going but now I am liking the change in styling :) I love so many hair styles that I'll definitely be revisiting straightening and curling my hair but I love shingling as a daily do. Thanks so much for reading and stickin with my styling experiments!

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  8. Great post! It's always good to recognize when your routine needs to change and taking the appropriate steps. My frustrations resulted in learning how to flat twist! Even though I think I have my hair figured out, as it gets longer (grown from a buzz cut almost a year ago), I'm still venturing into different products and styles. I like to keep things simple as well but might have to up the ante and get myself a dryer as well. :-)

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  9. i've been using the same routine as you for a while now, except my hair is much shorter and i air dry since i don't have a helmet dryer. of all the products i use i swear by deva curl one condition. this is the absolute best conditioner i've ever used. in addition to that i use deva curl no poo for cleansing, a leave-in conditioner (my hair is color treated and gets dry), a little coconut oil, and i switch up between ecostyler olive oil gel and shea moisture hair curling smoothie for shingling. your hair looks great!

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    1. So nice to hear that other girls out there have a routine as simple as mine. Ive been feeling like I'm the only person in the world that doesn't like to do their hair lol! The DevaCurl One Condition is amazing! I used DevaCurl stuff exclusively for like 2 years but as my hair grew, I had trouble with the build-up. I love it for traveling because the quick results. And at this point I just have to try this ecostyler that seems to be a staple with natural girls. Thanks!

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  10. you hair looks gorgeous...love the lipstick on you!

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  11. Such a great post .... the finish product is gorge btw running out to walgreens for some milani products :)

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  12. very nice, i need a hair dryer so badly!

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  13. kinky curly knot today...and I have a verse in the bible i say over my hair....hahahahhaha no kidding!!

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    1. Okay I'm late replying to this but like, EVERYONE has the Kinky Curly Knot Today and they all swear by it. I need to get back into this! Stat!

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  14. Natalie ..you make natural hair SO FUN...cos you seem so effortless about it! love that!

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  15. Umm, how did your hair stay looking so gorgeous and fab without trimming???

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    1. You are so kind! LOL I don't know how my hair didn't just fall out but I'm so thankful it held on. Thanks for the compliment!

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  16. Seeing your hair always makes me want to get a major cut! I've worked to get my hair to past waist length, but now it's knotting like crazy! I'm getting so agitated and I know my hair could be much healthier... Thanks for sharing your routine!

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  17. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! I have been having major issues with my hair, and have some of the same 'tell-tell' signs you do. I also HATE having to spend tons and tons of time on my hair, but have never managed to get a hang of the wash-and-go. I'll definitely give shingling in a try, stop being cheap with my hair products, and invest in a dryer. Sigh, after I cut off my damaged hair tomorrow, of course...:-/

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    1. Hope your trim went well! And I hope you didn't have to cut too much off like I did (!!) but a Summer cut is always cute I guess LOL. Glad this post could help you! It's been weeks now and I'm still doing the shingling routinely and I STILL love it!!​ Have you tried it yet?? Let me know how it's working out!

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  18. Your hair looks fabulous! So healthy and bouncy! :) You're the reason that I decided to give wash and gos another try this spring, since I was getting tired of twisting my hair all the time. This time around, I finally got a handle on the routine & my hair has come out great every time. I'm going back to twists now, only to keep from twirling my hair when stressed. Guess it's time to invest in some salon quality products & get a trim soon. I'll hold off on the dryer until I have room to store it. Thanks so much for sharing your new routine. :)

    -Nicole

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    1. My pleasure, Nicole! You know, I have the same issue with twirling my curls in my fingers when I'm stressed or when I'm deep in thought or conversation. I didn't think it was a big deal but it IS actually! It's funny that you say you do the same thing. It's good you found a way to curb that as it's so addicting! I just can't help it though - our hair is so fun. Well it can be lol. Glad you found a good strategy with the wash and go's but I'm definitely with ya on a more controlled daily style. They're fun on occasions though! Thanks so much for sharing and good luck shopping for new products!

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  19. You look amazing! Your hair is so healthy and gorgeous. I can totally relate. Months ago my hair just just did a complete 360 and just stopped cooperating. Nothing I did helped. I went to a natural hair salon and the stylist said that I needed a trim. I left that salon with a trim and a new head of hair. It was like it came back to life again.

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    1. Ah! I know the feeling - I'm glad you have your hair back! Thank goodness!

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  20. This message is for MILLY! Hey there, Milly - I accidentally deleted your comment LOL! Sorry about that, I shouldn't try to respond to comments using my phone :( So your question was how long do my hair products last? Hmmm, the Moroccanoil conditioner lasts me like 2 months... not long at all. But I checked and they don't seem to have an industrial size larger than 16.9 oz so it's definitely an investment for now until I find something larger. And my Redken Shampoo - goodness it lasts like maybe 6-8 months? Yes, we curly girls don't have much need for the poos. And my Moroccanoil curl cream lasts a pretty long time as well. Probably 5-6 months. So the only real kick in the pocket is the conditioner. Hope that helps!

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