Long Hair, Who Cares?!

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Recently, I was on vacation and for the latter half of my stay I put my hair in large havana twists. It looked so natural that people–black people, surprisingly, could not tell that it wasn’t my hair. I was stopped many times and asked if this was my real hair, or how long did it take to grow? I was complimented and admired with, your hair is so beautiful, I love your hair. I had never gotten so many compliments on a hairstyle before. Moreover, every single person, with the exception of one, were men! Can you believe that??! Black men, asking me, a black woman, if this is my real hair! I didn’t know how to feel about this.. Happy? Amused? Offended?

After a while, I studied the situation and actually felt some kinda way, which I cannot describe in one word. I was not angry at the men who asked if this was my real hair per se, but I became conscious of the ideation of long hair seeming to be more admirable than short hair. It was as if being natural was no longer the problem of being excluded in worldly beauty, but now having shorter, natural, is what is specifically overlooked.

I began to feel as though we, as black people, did not entire break the chains of mental slavery. And I am not saying it is our fault. I believe that we had a breakthrough but it needs to go a step further. Yes, we’ve come far with the return of natural tresses, but many of us are still seeking length for beauty. We need to evaluate our reasons for desiring long hair. Some of us may feel inadequate or substandard having not attained long hair length goals. We protective style to cover up our “ugly phase” aka short hair and take hair pills to promote growth for long lengths. Now, if you are doing certain things for hair health, carry on, I support that!

However, from studying the encounters from my trip, I’ve concluded that there is still this ideation in society, that long hair is more attractive. This social construction of beauty was lurking in my subconscious for a long time and I hadn’t realized it until I was probed by these men. It had been whispering to me ever since I became natural, and long hair was my desire. Once I did the big chop, all I wanted was length, and then health was close for a second focus. Basically, I made length more important than health which really didn’t work out because heathy hair is actually what causes length (reduced breakage, etc). Point is, I desired long hair, all my life. But don’t get my wrong, I felt beautiful with my short natural hair as well. The problem was I saw it as a phase and I wasn’t content with staying in that phase. It was meant to be a passing and not a permanancy.

Today, I still struggle with my hair at its short/medium length. I struggle with natural protective styling and finding the time to care for my hair. But now being fully aware of the feelings that lurked in my subconscious for a long time, I plan to be more conscientious and loving to my hair. I plan to work on my self-esteem and self-acceptance. Having confidence as a natural is one thing, but one should decipher whether that is true confidence or wall of delusion and denial around societal standards deeply ingrained in your reasons for your hair goals..

#foodforthought

x0x0,
Sarahdee

Single Strand Knots – Problems of a Natural Girl with Kinks and Curls

Single strand knots are in the top 10 of the most annoying things about natural hair. I could go in depth on this topic, but I’ll keep it light. Here are just a few to-the-point mentions regarding this natural hair problem.

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Problems:

  • Interferes with length retention and hair health
  • Can lead to breakage and split ends
  • Causes difficulty with combing and detangling

How it can happen:

Dry hair – If your hair is dry, it is prone to knotting easily when combed.
Wash-n-go – When your hair shrinks to dry, it curls up into its curl pattern and can coil onto itself easily creating knots and tangles.

Prevention Methods worth trying:

  1. Oil Rinsing – After shampooing or cowashing, lightly to moderately saturate your hair with oil and conditioner. Then rinse.
  2. Oil Daily – If you spritz your hair with water or AVG daily, add some oil to the mix to aid in detangling and add lots of slip
  3. Wash-n-Stretch – instead of wash-n-go, try separating, detangling, and twisting your hair to dry. It will prevent the hair from curling and coiling on itself.
  4. Stretch, Seal and Protect Ends – Stretched ends are much less likely to curl up on themselves. Sealing them with an oil and/or butter helps smooth down the frizzies and flyaways. Twisting up and tucking away or other protective styles help prevent your ends from knotting on themselves also

One of the simple benefits of using oil for the prevention of single strand knots is the slippage it gives to melt tangles-to-be away and calm frizzy ends.

In my opinion,
Sarah Dee
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References and Related Articles:

How To Prevent Single Strand Knots By Hollis
http://hollistics.com/2012/10/11/how-to-prevent-single-strand-knots/

Ask CurlyNikki: How Do I Get Rid of Single Strand Knots By Nikki Walton of CurlyNikki
http://www.essence.com/2013/02/28/ask-curlynikki-how-do-i-get-rid-single-strand-knots/

My Hair Routine – Seasonal Cycle

I’ve created a seasonal pattern with my hairstyles. Since I started wearing wigs, I found it to be easy and low maintenance.

{End of Fall- All of Winter – Beginning of Spring}

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Living on the East coast with harsh winter weather, I prefer to wear my wigs as my hat and helmet to my own natural hair. Natural hair, in my opinion, is not made to endure such brutal cold temperatures. The wigs protect my hair strands from the cold and dry air and also keep my head warm. Also, I don’t have to protective style my own hair with twist outs, etc. which often require water. Twist-out preparations can also be time consuming and messy; in the winter time, I can do without those two factors. Low maintenance, quick styling wigs are a win win situation in my book.

I like to begin wig wearing at the end of Fall because that is when the crisp cold winds begin to pick up. Sometimes I will opt for a protective style involving twists or braids, or even my natural hair in flat twists. But by the end of the fall season, I cease all twist outs and afros. Then all Winter long I continue to wear my wigs. And the beginning of Spring, I continue to wear my wigs and plan upcoming styles for my hair when it gets warmer. My routine is not at all rigid, sometimes I take off my wigs for an occasion where I need to style my natural hair into a bun or updo which lasts for as long as a week before I put my wig back on.

Also, when it comes to the lengthy wearing of a wig, I make sure to wash my hair and scalp once every week and a half to two weeks. It is important to have a clean scalp because buildup will block your scalp from properly breathing and promoting growth. An unclean scalp can probably lead to bacteria scalp infections, mold, hair fall out and some other nasty stuff. (don’t quote me, do your research) So, I make sure that my scalp is cleansed often because a healthy scalp helps grow healthy hair.

 

{Mid Spring – All of Summer – Beginning of Fall}

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This is my favorite time, when it’s warm, because I can finally wear my hair out! The air is moist and temperature is warmer. My hair and scalp love both of those things. I can take my time to style my natural hair and this is the time where I bring out the twist outs and afro. This is when I most excited about the new growth acquired from the protective styling, low maintenance seasons. This is when I can wet my hair whenever and as often as I want. This is when I am obsessed with my hair! =D

So there goes… My Hair Routine for the seasons. I am sure a lot of naturals have something similar going on in their routines as well. And if you didn’t know what to do for the seasons, well I hope I helped you gained some routine inspiration from above!

 

x0x0
Sarahdee

Peruvian Straight Birthday Hair!

A couple months ago, I started making a wig for my birthday, I used close to 4 bundles of Peruvian straight hair (18″ 20″ 22″ 24″) which I purchased from an Aliexpress vendor called Hot Hair. The quality and construction of this hair was not the best. I almost didn’t wear it for my birthday because I was very unhappy with it.

I also added a Peruvian straight silk based closure to the top for styling versatility.

The wig is made onto a breathable cap which I also purchased from Aliexpress.

These caps are by far my favorite for wigs because my scalp and hair can breathe underneath it. I’ve used mesh caps, and spandex caps before, and now I’ve finally made a wig on a breathable cap. It makes washing and moisturizing so much easier than any other cap. The main reason why I prefer this cap above any other is because I sew my wigs on. I do not like having to take on and off a wig every night at all, nor do I like it clipped onto my hair because it pulls and gives me headaches. I prefer low maintenance protective styles and therefore I sew my wigs on and take them off when it’s time for a change weeks to months later.

Currently, I am still rocking this wig and making the best of it. I will keep up with this low maintenance protective style until the weekend of May 10th which marks 3 years since my Big Chop!! I plan to finally straighten my natural hair (carefully), for the very first time then, to celebrate the occasion! =D

I didn’t want to make a long post this time, so the rest of the details on on my Peruvian straight Birthday hair can be found on my newest Youtube upload here.

xoxo
Sarahdee

Crochet Micro Senegalese Twists – UPDATE!!!

Hello all!

Cheers to my first official new blog post of the New Year! =D

My year started off with a BANG! in the hair world. My crochet micro senegalese twists went viral, starting with @naturalhairdoescare on Instagram who reposted my partially done twists from New Years Eve/Day! From then on, a couple more hair and fashion pages reposted my picture. I had no idea that what I was doing was extraordinary or something special! I was definitely blown away and overwhelmed by all of the attention, especially because I am such an introvert. This attention sort of forced me out of my shell quite a bit. I received so many questions and comments, almost too much to keep up with. I also received requests for a YouTube tutorial on this style!

I had planned on getting on YouTube some time in the future and I was putting it off until I felt ready: equipped and prepared to put out quality videos. However, there was such a high demand for this style and I certainly felt the pressure, so I did it. 🙂 I guess I had to start at some point, some way, some how.

And here it is: Crochet Micro Senegalese Twists by Sarah Dee

Anyhow, I know I said I’d post a thorough update and pictures a while back before I got hit with the masses. Please forgive me for delaying and in advance for any redundancy in this post. Now that the extravaganza has plateaued, I will give a formal update. So here goes… (thoughts in random order):

Notes/Info

  • I used 4 and half packs of Xpressions brand kanekalon hair: colors 27 and 30.
  • I cut each pack in half and stretched the hair by pulling on the ends of the strands to make it uneven.
  • It took me 2 and a half days to complete.
  • The braid pattern I used was trial and error..total error. I would suggest straight back cornrows to avoid the bulkiness

Pros

  • Reduces tension and manipulation on hair and helps preserves edges from breakage and damage
  • Can last very long because natural hair is not twisted in strands and therefore the hair will not become frizzy
  • Can wear any color hair because it wouldn’t show your natural hair in the twists like regular senegalese twists
  • Versatile: can be styled or worn down
  • Easier to moisture hair and scalp simultaneously

Cons

  • Natural braids may show at edges (some may not consider this style versatile for that reason)
  • Can be heavy if too much hair is used
  • Tedious and time consuming method for installation

I plan to keep in this style only for a month and a half, and so far so good! (see image below) Oh!! P.S: I finally slapped some edge control on, LOL! It’s been a while, and I’ve been lazy with it and not liking the nasty effects and lack of staying-power, but that’s a story for another day!

Crochet Micro Senegalese Twists

Crochet Micro Senegalese Twists Mega Braided Bun

I hope you enjoyed and found this informative or helpful. If you still have questions, comment below and I’ll try to answer as best as I can. 🙂 xoxo

SOCIAL MEDIA
You can find me on YouTube at Sarah Dee
And on Instagram @coilssobeautiful

Crochet Micro Senegalese Twists

New Hair for the New Year!!!

Here goes my December post.. 🙂

I’ve been MIA all month-long since I haven’t had anything to post about and I’ve also been busy and focused on other things. Anyhow, this December post is happening right now, in the last hour of the last day of this month. Which means that in less than 60 minutes, it will be January 1st, 2014!!!

Currently, I am working on my January protective style: Crochet Micro Senegalese Twists. I know, I know…that’s a mouthful to say. I don’t even know if that is an official styles, but that’s the best way to describe what I’ve got going on here.

Below is my braid pattern:

Braid Pattern

Braid Pattern

I haven’t decided whether to sew the end (in the middle) down or not. Also, I would suggest doing the braids in the middle smaller and in an s-pattern rather than chunky braids. Also, to reduce even more tension, you can add synthetic hair to your braid pattern just as you would do a sew in. The only negative thing about that is the bulk it would add to the front when doing these twists. If you used marley hair or a thick/curly hair, it wouldn’t be as noticeable.

I used three packs of Xpressions hair (so far), and I cut them in half. I MIGHT have to purchase a fourth pack (tomorrow I ‘ll know for sure). I also used a bobby pin instead of a crochet needle. I’ve tried using the crochet needle (with closing-latch hook) this past April and it did not work out for me. I started off fine but with snagging my hair often in the needle. It was frustrating to use the crochet needle and I didn’t have the patience so I took out what I started and did some micro braids with the hair. After that, I told myself I wouldn’t try crochet braids again. So this is my first successful attempt at crochet braids, using a bobby pin and my tool of choice instead. It’s just easier for me.

So what changed my mind?

I wanted to install Senegalese twists for January, but I was concerned about the tension and pulling on my edges. I wanted to avoid or lessen breakage at all costs. So I figured crocheting these twists on would ease the tension. So I went on YouTube to see if anyone had done crochet braids with Senegalese twists, and I found a couple of women who did! So there, I put two and two together: crochet braiding and Senegalese twists. I also stumbled upon an alternative to the crochet method and heard about the bobby pin method. I didn’t search for any videos on it being done, I just envisioned it in my mind and knew how it should be done.

Below is the process:

Installing Crochet Senegalese Twists

Installing Crochet Micro Senegalese Twists

crochet twists

I find it faster to crochet an entire row (only in the front) at a time before twisting

  1. Take a small amount of hair and *stretch* it so that the ends are not blunt (this will help the ends from unraveling)
    *by stretching I mean pulling some strands in the opposite direction to make the ends uneven*
  2. Take the hair by the middle and slide it in the opening of the bobby pin all the way to the end
  3. Use one hand to hold the strands tightly (close to the middle where it bends) and with the bobby pin in other hand, take and push the closed end underneath your braid and pull through with the hair
  4. Remove the bobby pin from the hair and pull one of the strands through so that they are even on both sides
  5. *Twist the strands together
    *I used a spray bottle with water and spray the synthetic hair to give slip and twist faster..it helps my hands not use so much energy which made all of this pain-free! 🙂

I plan to finish up (hopefully) tomorrow and will have picture and finalize the information on how many packs of hair and how long it took some time later on.

UPDATES 1/1/14:

  • Step-by-step explanation above^^^plus detail edits
  • It will take more than three packs of Xpressions hair (for this length and thickness), but not an entire four packs
  • Still not finished, but good enough at least to go to work tomorrow 🙂
  • More pictures coming soon, stay tuned!!
The upper-middle is unfinished

The upper-middle is unfinished

P.S: I am really considering making videos on YouTube in the future to add another dimension to share with you all. I’m thinking hair and beauty. Let me know what you think! 🙂

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Fall | Winter Protective Style Challenge UPDATE

Greetings!

It has been quite some time since I’ve last posted so I owe a major update to you guys today!

Loc Extensions

I know, I know… I’ll explain ^^^^^, but let’s backtrack and jog our memories for a little..

I sort of flunked my protective style challenge in October due to an interview..
Tried to make up for it by redoing my mini twists after and rocking my Allegra wig..
Allegra didn’t last for too long, I got bored of her quickly-in less than a week, so I exchanged her with my Peruvian curly Vanessa wig..
Rocked Vanessa for the first half of November..
Took down Vanessa and my twists for wash day Nov. 16th&17th..
**Length checked my hair** And it is noticeably longer by about an inch and a half!! =D Yay to LOW MANIPULATION!! It works!

Now that we are all caught up, here’s my protective style update today!
I installed loc extensions on Sunday and Monday earlier this week, November 17th and 18th. This was my third time doing loc extensions and it took me a lot less time than ever before. Over the course of these two days, the total amount of hours I spent doing my hair was in between 11 to 12 hours; as opposed to 3 whole days like the first time I did them. Whew! I’ve come a long way! lol

What I did this time around was pre-twist my own hair on Sunday as a preparation for the loc extensions. Then on Monday, I added the locs. This time, my locs were 10x lighter than the first time I did them. Because this time, I did not pre-twist my own hair with extension hair for length. the extra hair was what added the extra heaviness and bulk the first time around. I did not like that so much because it put a strain on my neck and on my hair from the roots. Heavy hair is not fun! Instead, I coiled the Marley hair around my hair and long strands of the Marley hair for length–added more when necessary. I must say, I am getting better with the trials and errors of doing locs and each time gets better and better. I am totally satisfied with the outcome this time and plan to keep these in until Christmas/New Years time to continue my Fall & Winter Protective style challenge.