Hair Style & Maintenance Updates

It's been a while since I talked about my hair, what I'm doing with it now, what products I use and trials and tribulations...  
Let's get started!

So, remember when I got a Brazilian Blowout in Spring of 2015?  I sure do...  Oy.  

As much research as I did, the reality of how to maintain a BB with having such tight curls as I do was something that, in the end, needed to be experienced.  There was some good, some bad and then some mistakes.  Before I tell you why I did it, I'll run through with you what a Brazilian Blowout is.
**If you just want to read about the products I'm using, scroll all the way down**

First, a Brazilian Blowout is not a straightener.  
It's nothing like a relaxer.  A relaxer shocks the hair folical and causes it to lay straight.  It will never return to its natural state, the chemical is permanent.  A Brazilian Blowout is basically a de-frizz serum.  It makes your hair completely impenetrable to moisture in the air.  No frizz!  Anyone can get a BB and be completely resistant to humidity.  This is achieved by the technique in which they use to apply the serum throughout your hair.  And it lasts for about 3 months.  

Here's how they apply it:

All oils and remaining product are washed out of the hair before beginning
They wash out 100% of any product still in your hair when you arrive: conditioner, oils, etc - whatever is in your hair, they wash it out completely.  It takes about 4 washes with a clarifying shampoo or apple cider vinegar.  Not good for a Type 4 gal like me.  

The hair is blown dry.
And not just dry but bone dry.  No part of the hair can be even damp.  Eeek!  So after several drying washes, the hair is dried to the bone.  I could literally hear the stylist touching my hair.  It sounded like she was moving around hay. 

The BB is applied in sections
They apply the serum in sections until the entire head is complete.  

They use a flattening iron to seal in the serum
Immediately after the product is on, they use a flat iron and straighten your hair, sealing in the serum.  Lots of smoke!  It will make you feel like something is going terribly wrong.  It's not.  Is the serum organic and environmentally safe?  Not really.  But if your eyes begin to water or your nose stings just put a towel over your face.  It's similar to the toxicity of a roller perm.

They wash out excess serum with a conditioning shampoo and conditioner
Then comes the pampering!  Right when I thought this was starting to be a mistake, my hair is drenched in thick creamy moisturizing goodness.  The serum was flat-ironed into my hair completely coating the hair, shielding it from dirty air, moisture, radicals, sun exposure, etc.  Like a raincoat.  Then a moisturizing cleanser and conditioner is used to wash out the excess serum and further coat the hair.

Straighten it or wear it natural and that'll be $250 please
You have the option of having the stylist straighten your hair again before you leave and let me tell you if you do decide to have it straightened, you will gasp when you see your hair, feel it, style it - hunnnnyyyyyy  you will wonder what you were doing before a BB.  Or you can diffuse your newly coated head of curls and keep them popping.  Naturally.  And mine was $200.

So...Why did I do it?
I basically wanted to look like this photo any time I wanted.  Did you know getting my hair like that took 3 hours?  And guess how long it lasted?  1-2 days.  Sometimes, just a few hours.  Maddening, right?

I wanted to be able to wear my suuuuper curly hair straight sometimes.  I wanted to get up one day and say, "I think I'll straighten it today!" or "I think I'll sport some waves today."  and then go back to naturally curly goodness whenever I want.  A BB makes that completely possible.  Before, I couldn't just decide to straighten my hair, the 3 hours I needed for that had to be planned.  With a BB, it's one hour.

The products I used while I had the BB was mainly Redken.  Their All Soft line.  It was lighter than the curly-focused products I'd used on my natural hair.  But I still used Camille Rose naturals cleansers, the Clean Rinse and the Sweet Ginger Cleansing Rinse.  You can't use a harsh shampoo with a BB (it'll wash it out faster).

But here's where it went wrong...
After my BB, I had the stylist straighten it.  And I straightened it again the next day, and the next and the next.  I was straightening it so much that when I decided to finally rock the curls, they were nowhere to be found.  I didn't have curls.  The ends were fried, the curls looked like a tortured telephone cord.  I blamed it all on my Brazilian Blowout.  But really, I just shouldn't have straightened it so much.  Maybe a woman with looser curls than I could've gotten through that but I didn't.  The tighter your curl, the more fragile.  It also has to do with the type of hair you have - not just the curl pattern.  Fine or course?  Mine is fine.  Porous or non-porous?  Porous!  I waited for a few months but the hair never sprung back.

So I cut it all off.
I felt liberated.  I felt like me.  I was back to my roots (literally) and I never wanted to do a BB or any other chemical treatment again.  I was au natural and loved it!  Plus, since my hair was barely an inch long and I continued to have it shaved, I could divulge in all the hair products I could never use when my hair was longer and much higher maintenance.  Products that would kill my curls if they were longer.  It was so amazing.  I was using Aesop, R&Co, Bumble & Bumble, you name it I tried it.  I kept it shaved for several months.

Then I grew tired of the singular look I had.  I wanted to feel more feminine, I also knew my husband preferred me with long hair.  He loved how huge it used to be.  And I did too.  So I began growing it out.  Having gone full circle so many times at this point, I realized that I would end up in the same place as how I started: tired of maintaining an ever-growing eco-system on my head, loving the bigness, then hating it.  Loving the tight curls, then detesting the maintenance.  So I returned my focus to the Brazilian Blowout again...  Stop rolling your eyes and let me explain!

This time, I knew how it worked and more importantly, I knew how to manage my hair to make a BB work for me in a positive way.  Because at the end of the day, a Brazilian Blowout simply protects your hair and keeps it healthy.  Almost like a chemical protective style.  You just need to know its nature and how it works with your nature.  

So I got another BB in May of this year.  I straightened it a couple times and then I left it natural.  If you have hair like mine: fine, type-4, porous curls you can really only straighten your hair occasionally with a BB.  Or else the curls will not bounce back.  But when you do wear your hair straight, it'll be dynamite.
And also, you'll love rocking the curls!  A BB makes them so shiny, which I always had a hard time with before - getting my curls to shine.
 IMPORTANT:  The tightness of your curl will change!  Not necessarily true for Type 2-3 girls but definitely true for Type 4.  It's the nature of the beast, every strand of hair has protective "scales"  that cover it.  Humidity and moisture cause those scales to raise up, causing the hair to be and look "frizzy".  The BB serum locks those scales down permanently (well, for like 2-3 months because the serum does eventually wash out over time) so that even in high humidity, the hair will not become frizzy.  

My point is, this inadvertently loosens curls.  So that's why, if you notice, my curls are more of the Type 3 family now.  I am okay with that I suppose.  It's a small sacrifice I made to have easily transitioning hair.  But I miss my super tight coils.
 Anyway, I am STILL using Camille Rose Naturals!!!  Her products just can't be beat.  And I've tried to find other products to mess with since I get tired of the smell of CRN at times (I'm more of an herbal, woodsy scent loving gal - not a fan of the vanilla/coconut/brown sugar scene, bleh!)  but the quality of Camille Rose continues to be phenomenal.
Since my hair is still quite short, I don't do much to it.  I don't even put any styling products in it - mainly due to the fact that my Brazilian Blowout makes my hair look like it's already styled when I get out of shower.  I just lift and pull the hair up from the roots, mainly in the crown and back area, and then I'm done.  I let it air dry.

I use Camille Rose Naturals Sweet Ginger Cleansing Rinse.  I don't mind the scent of that shampoo.  It has a zing to it and doesn't dry my hair but also doesn't leave a residue.  It's a fabulous daily shampoo and I do use it daily since I wear a wash and go.

For conditioning, I use Camille Rose Naturals Coconut Water Leave-In Treatment.  I actually rinse this conditioner out even though it's a leave-in but it's absolutely amazing at detangling and making my curls silky smooth!  I ran out of the Coconut Water Leave-In last week so I immediately went to Camille Rose Naturals Almond Jai Twisting Butter.  It's really good at detangling and I use it as a conditioner when I'm in a pinch.  I used to swear by CRN Moisture Milk but with my looser curls and slightly different hair texture, the Moisture Milk is too heavy now.  I also don't use the CRN Curl Maker as I don't need to.  Having a Brazilian Blowout is pretty cool in the sense that it protects and sets the hair for you.  I don't really need a gel or style setter.  That being said, I most likely will need an assisting style product when my hair gets longer.
So there you have it!  My latest hair evolution and continuing understanding of our miraculous texture.  I hope my play-by-play of my Brazilian Blowout experience was helpful to you, incase you are finding yourself in a place of needing transition, ease, just something different.  BB is an interesting subject and everyone seems to have a differing opinion.  I tried to speak as objectively as possible.  And in the end, it's what you're comfortable with doing.

I regret cutting my hair.  Even though I felt that temporary bit of liberation and pride in getting back to me - no chemicals, no manipulation just natural curls.  That was a wonderful feeling.  But I love long full big hair and I'm going to try to work with that again the best way I can.  What's done is done and at the end of the day, it's just hair I suppose.

And on a completely different note....
The Tiny Closet Shop will be open to everyone Monday the 18th!! 
Wanna see a little preview though?


  1. The shorter cut with the BB looks fabulous, I was wondering in the spring how you got your hair so straight, I too get tired of my curly hair and wear a pony tail EVERYDAY. Thanks for sharing, now let me go find some Camille products.

  2. Natalie dear, is it too late to sign up y email for the shop, please? My email is Just in case you might need it. Thanks...
    Thanks for the hair inspiration, I chopped off my hair months ago and I've been experimenting with different products. I would have to check out these products.

    1. Hi Missy May! Well, if you haven't tried Camille Rose Naturals yet, prepare to be impressed. Absolutely solid products for curly/kinky hair. I will certainly add you to my mailing list, thank you! Have fun experimenting with your chop :)

  3. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, this blog! Girl you rock it all. Thanks for the honest review. I think a lot of us didn't even know about BB's. Great review!

  4. Thanks Natalie for your update on your hair and honest experiences with the BB. Your hair is beautiful at any length. Education is knowledge and when you know better you do better. Congrats on being able to embrace your dream of selling your designs. They are beautiful and unique just like you. I wish you continue blessings on your future endeavors.

    1. Thank you very much Pamela. Thank you for your kind words and support!

  5. Hi, been looking forward to a post about your hair for a while. I think it looks great you've got me craving a short cut...maybe someday. Anyway I wanted to ask do you remember the brand of Brazilian blowout they used in your hair, your hair looks and sounds like it a similar to mine and you've got me interested in doing this, but they're so many brands out there it would be great to know your brand then I can narrow down the salons to go to to get it done. I live in the southern hemisphere so it's winter now, but as soon as summer hints definitely want to try this to make that wash n go easier. Thanks for sharing:)

    1. Hi Milly! Thank you, I'm glad you found this helpful :) I think the BB my stylist used was the original here: she is also an ambassador for black hair for Brazilian Blowout. It's important to find someone who knows how to apply it to black hair. Thanks again for reading!

  6. I look forward to hearing about your growth journey occasionally. I cut my hair last Spring/Summer too to rock a similar cut and the grow out has been a pain from heat damage to just plain laziness *sigh*

  7. Hi there, I've been following your blog for a few months, and I first wanted to say how much I love not just your sense of style, but your style philosphies. I've really learned to embrace a simpler way of carrying myself fashion-wise as well as to love the tiny closet life! Your blog is definitely a special one.

    Also, I know that feeling of regretting cutting your hair short. I chopped my precious curls off four years ago, kept it short because I truly loved it, but last year I started to really really miss my longer hair so I started regrowing. It's not fun, especially with fine, slow to grow hair. I say I won't chop it again, but let's be real, I most likely will in a few years and deal with the regret-regrow cycle all over. :P

  8. Thanks for sharing Natalie. In case some of your readers don't have access to BB I thought I would share my experiences: I had/have a ton of healthy BSL 4A/4B normal porosity hair, two years ago I started with keratin treatments (Naked Assuage) and now Design Essentials STS (the Elongation Mousse/Sealant vs. the Transitioning Mousse/Sealant) via my trusted stylist.

    I have no complaints, and I can vouch that it makes having long tight hair so much easier to manage too! But I will say that I really only wear it straight the day I leave the salon (and sometimes not even then). I have also learned that it is better to color 2 weeks after the treatment (I have LOADS of grey).

    Last but not least, I shampoo with Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle (but I am going to try the Camille Rose Cleansing Rinse), apply Curl Junkie Beauticurls Argan & Olive Oil Conditioner (detangle/slap on a plastic cap/leave it in, I do not rinse), style with Qhemet AOHC or Qhemet Aethiopika Hydrate & Twist Butter (I start the week with a Curlformer set and then convert to large flat twists each night after the gym, spritzing each section with distilled water to remove the salt from the sweat).

    Anhyoo, this may be helpful to some.

  9. Hi Natalie! Thank you for sharing your experience. I started using Camille Rose Natural products after watching your Wash and Go video on YouTube. They are wonderful! Will you ever do any more videos? look like Halle Berry with your short straight bob.

    1. Thank you for visiting and watching my videos, Antoinette! I am so happy you're using CRN products and they work for you. It feels wonderful to support a black, female-owned business and even better when their product is amazing. I do plan to make more videos once my hair gets longer so I will announce that in time :) You are so sweet!

  10. That article was enough to make me never get a BB. I have used chemical relaxers a similar straightening serums with mixed results but its the potential carcinogens that I don't need. :/

    1. Thank you for visiting and adding more helpful information to this discussion!

  11. What would the difference be between this and a 'slight' texturizer, should you decide you want this versatility permanently? Wouldn't it be a cheaper option, and it shouldn't be too difficult to maintain, especially if you're not straightening it that often.

  12. I truly hope you see this and can respond: do you mind sharing your stylist info e.g. name, salon name? I live downtown too (I've actually run in to you) and am super interested in something to help me keep my natural hair manageable. Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Crystal! Thanks for reading! I remember running into you last year :) my stylist that did my BB works at Spa 313 in Englewood. Her name is Angela Giles. Have fun!

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