- Make sure your hair is moisturized. This will ensure a smoother set and thus a smoother result. You know your hair best. Most people typically need to use a leave-in conditioner and seal with some sort of oil or butter if you fell like you need it. Build moisture. Start with a little, smooth it in your hair, smooth it down until it’s invisible. If it still feels a little rough or life it might frizz, try spraying a bit of water and maybe add a little more moisturizer if you feel like you need it. This isn’t a perfect science. You really have to have a feel for your own hair.
- Use an oil or butter after applying conditioner, but before starting the braid or twist to prevent frizz and to seal your hair. Just lightly dip your fingers in an oil or butter and smooth over strands before starting each braid or twist. If it’s your first time experimenting with your hair like this, just take notes on what you did and evaluate your result and adjust for next time. For example if your hair feels heavy or weighed down, perhaps you used too much leave-in. If it feels greasy, perhaps you used a tad too much oil or butter or whatever you sealed with. Another sign that you’re heavy-handed is if you notice residue after your hair is dry.
- Make sure your hair is detangled. If you have a Denman brush or Tangle Teezer, now is the time to use it. You don’t want to get any single strand knots. Also, if the hair isn’t completely detangled, you might have frizzy parts of parts of your hair that will stick out once it’s dry.
- Make sure your hair is smooth. The smoother the set, the better result. Think of your fingers as a flat iron and smooth your fingers down your hair strands. If you feel any rough patches, apply more water and/or conditioner to that section and keep smoothing until it feels soft and smooth to the touch.
- Set the braids or twists the same way you will wear your hair. If you wear a center part, set the braids or twists that way with the front two sections framing the face and braiding or twisting the middle section straight back. If you wear an off-center part to the left or right, braid the hair that way. If you prefer to wear your hair straight back, you might try cornrows, flat twists or just setting the braids or twists so that they are all going towards the back. You don’t want to manipulate your hair too much because it might frizz. Frizz happens when we try to move the part or do something different than the way we set the hair. Who has time for that? Nobody. Again, make sure that the way you’re braiding or twisting is as close to the finished style as possible. You’re putting the time in to do the set and you want to be able to ensure predictable results.
- Don’t use a comb to part the hair where you don’t want a part because the part will show and you will have to manipulate the hair to hide the parts. This is where the set has the potential to be ruined. Instead just gather sections with your fingers when you’re doing the set and try to use the same amount of hair for each braid for a more uniform set.
- While braiding, be sure to keep the 3 sections of the braid separate. White twisting, make sure the 2 sections stay separated. Do not intermix the hair from one section of the braid with the other. Keep the 3 sections of the braid separate from root to ends. If you braid to the ends, this will be an issue. I don’t recommend braiding to the ends. I think better results can be achieved by braiding the hair until you have maybe 1-2″ left and just stop the braid or twist. Remember not to commingle sections. Now, add a roller or start a finger coil to ensure that all 3 sections of the braid stay separate. My roller of choice are flexi rods, but some people use magnetic rollers, straws, mesh rollers.
- If your hair is prone to puff or frizz, use smaller braids or twists to prevent frizz. You’ll have more definition with the smaller sections and generally, more predictable results, but it’s all personal preference. Some women like more puff with a less defined look and do larger braids. It also has a lot to do with your hair type. If you have looser smoother curls or super defined natural curls, you can just loosely braid each section.
- Make sure hair is completely dry before unraveling the braids to prevent frizz. It’s a cardinal rule with natural hair and curly hair. Thou shall never touch your hair once it is set until it is dry. Who wants to put in the effort of doing the set only to have it ruined because you took down the set prematurely.
- Use a seamless end of a rattail comb or very carefully with your fingers to unravel the braids and start from the ends up. If you want more volume, you can separate the unraveled braids from the root to ends using the rattail end of a comb.
- If your hair is prone to frizz and you don’t want frizz, do not finger comb. If you must finger comb, do it carefully and delicately to protect the result from frizz. If you want, you can run a bit of serum through your hair or a little bit of oil depending on what you think your hair needs. Some people use a holding spray if they want to have more control and to prevent their hair from puffing later through the day.
Archive for the ‘DIY Hair Styling’ Category
A braid out is a method for setting hair. Hair is usually braided while wet, damp or dry. Once the hair is set, it is allowed to set and dry. Once the hair is dry, the braids are taken out and if done right, hair should have a wavy texture. There are quite a few reasons to do a braid out. Some women with relaxed or straight hair just do it to change up their look and have wavy hair for a moment. Some women with naturally curly hair do it to achieve a more uniform texture especially if they do not have a uniform curl pattern or if their hair is prone to frizz. Still more women employ the braid out method to stretch out their curls to give their hair more length. Whatever the reason, it’s an excellent go to hair set that’s easy for anyone to do.
In case you missed it, I already have a popular post entitled, ‘11 Tips for Perfecting Your Braid Out or Twist Out‘ where I go into detail on things that you should do in order to have the braid out of your dreams. I hadn’t realized it at the time, but I’ve been getting braid outs since I was a little girl… way over 20 years ago. That said, I can say that I’ve mastered them on my hair. A lot of people tweak the braid out method to suit their hair and you’ll have to find what works for you.
Configuring Your Own Braid Out Method
I could actually write a whole book on the intricacies of braid outs. In this post, let’s just handle first things first. You’ll have to figure out which of these methods work best for you and perhaps you’ll have luck with all of them. Basically, you can do a braid out on wet hair, damp hair, dry hair. My preference is damp hair at the momement, but that’s just me at the moment. It may not be for you. I have tried all of the aforementioned methods and I really like to switch it up, they all create different looks.
The wet look gives me a natural look when I do a braid out, it looks more like my natural curl pattern regardless of how skinny or large I make the braids. This method also has a routine similar to what you would do if you were rocking a relaxer and roller set. How so? Well, when you have relaxed hair, most people typically wash, set and dry their hair and the wet set braid out is a similar routine. Maybe that makes no sense to you, but if you like routine and knowing what you’re going to do with your hair, this is a good way to go.
Next, a damp braid out. I use this method when I want my hair to be stretched out a bit. This also works on hair that has been washed and dried, but you add enough product in it to make it damp. Sometimes, I’ll wet wrap my hair, let it dry 50% or 30 minutes under my dryer on a low-medium heat. Next, I take the wrap down and proceed to set a braid out. After that, I let my hair air dry and once my hair is completely dry, I take the braids down.
Finally, there’s the dry braid out. Hair is completely dry when you do this, you might add a bit of moisturizer or oil to really set the curl, but hair is mostly dry. Anybody can do this style, the key is to allow enough time to let the braid out really set. You might try doing the braid set at night and take out in the morning. Or you can do it in the morning and take it down in the afternoon. I find myself doing this when I’m rocking bone straight or flat ironed hair and I just want to add some texture.
More braid out method tips to come. Stay tuned and subscribe!
This post is entitled ‘Must Have Hair Tools’, but it’s not really. It is just a starting point of what you might want to have on hand. Some of things may or may not be relevant to you depending on how you chose to style your hair and your hair length. Click here to shop for these items in the Mane and Chic Amazon store.
Fine Tooth Comb
Shower Comb/Wide Tooth Comb
For Drying and Straightening:
Hot Rollers/Steam Rollers
Clips to use at home
Clips to wear out
Hair Accessories to wear out
Good Pair of Shears
Flexi Rod/Super Rollers
Hair Stopper (Stops Hair from going down the drain)
For Scalp Cleaning and Oiling:
Roots Only Applicator Comb
I have a lot of hair stuff and I’m sure if you’re reading this, you probably do too. My old way of organizing it all and being able to access it fast was not working for me. One day, a few months ago, I had an idea to use old glass jars and plastic bottles to store my hair clips and bobby pins. These are free after you finish your water, Pom juice, pickles, jalapeño stuffed olives (my fav) or mayonnaise. Before this, I had a plastic box where I just put all of my hair clips and bobby pins. Now, I keep each type of clip or pin separate. It makes my life so much easier and it looks better. I have even attempted to use pretty wine bottles or glass lemonade bottles, but the opening of those glass bottles were a bit to small for me to fit the clips. I’ll probably replace that water bottle with another jar as soon as I’m finished with something in the kitchen. If you want to be fancy, you can spray paint the lids or paint on the jar or bottles. I haven’t tried that yet because my jars are hidden in a drawer, but I might attempt it at a later date. A few years ago, I began using see-through plastic shoe boxes and the larger boxes to store my hair rollers. These are really cheap if you go to a store like Dollar General or Family Dollar I think I paid $1-$5 for each box. I love that I can see what’s in it so that I can just stack them in the cabinet and easily access whatever I need whenever I need it.
Maybe some of you already do this or if you have other creative ideas to store your hair supplies, please share in the comments.
What! Another straight hair post? Yes! I’m sorry, but I wouldn’t post it if I didn’t think it was valuable. After 4 years of running Mane and Chic, the one major pain/problem that I see is problems with hairstyling. I agree. I have the same issue. I want to be creative with my hair styling, but I don’t want it to look forced or done up. I’m not really into harsh/hard styles, I prefer natural, loose, easy (and perhaps a bit messy/undone) styles that don’t pull my hair, don’t cause headaches and are easy for me to do. You remember I did the “Worked” feature a year or so ago where I showed you 30 different outfits in 30 days. Around the same time, I got the idea to do the same thing with hair and many of you were also craving the same thing and had the same idea. Well, this is what happens when you sit on your hands… someone beats you to the punch and I’m so happy the doll behind Hair Romance had the same idea that my readers and I had and was able to feed our hair craving. The only caveat, her hair is straight (duh… you can see that from the pic above), but I don’t think that will stop you from attempting most of these styles. Well, maybe… it depends on your hair type and you can always stretch your hair to get less shrinkage which might help you achieve some of these looks.
You can see all 30+ styles on the Hair Romance blog that will show you the style, but if you want to learn how to do each style, you’re going to have to shell out $9.99 for the e-book. I have not read the book, so I can’t say if it’s a good investment to get the step by step tutorials, but imagine how much time and money you’d spend trying to get a hair stylist to give you 30 different looks. Yeah… $9.99 is looking like a pretty good investment, right? Books are always a smart choice… most of the time.
On Twitter, I challenged some other bloggers, but no one wants in… I might attempt something like this in the near future, but don’t hold your breath… I’m hoping someone else with my hair type does it. If you find that anywhere, shoot me a link!
So, before you tar and feather me for posting videos of straight-haired girls, I thought these videos would be really helpful for our hair types. In all the polls that I’ve done, the number one problem that all of you seem to have is being stuck in a hairstyle rut. A few months ago, I stumbled upon The Beauty Department, which is basically Lauren Conrad’s beauty blog along with her hair stylist and makeup artist. I love it. Love everything about it and I thought you should know about it. I love the hairstyles featured, the videos on YouTube. Everything is just so fresh, clean and it was my inspiration when I was renovating Mane and Chic.
Here are are few of my favorite features from The Beauty Department that I think you should try on your curly/high textured hair ASAP:
For those of you who know how to french braid, here are two super chic buns from the Spring 2011 Valentino show and a semi-step-by-step pictorial on how to get it. You can see that the bottom left image is a little different because it doesn’t utilize a full center part. You can’t loose with either.
It’s hot, you’re going to the beach, you want your hair up and out of your way. I have a solution for you! I scoured Style.com to find these über cute buns. They are from the Spring 2011 and Fall 2011 runway collections. You can rock them on hair type. Try!
SCRITCHING is a form of scalp stimulation that uses a comb to stimulate scalp and hairs. I first found out about it on longhairs.com. I would never use a comb on my bare scalp and scritch/scratch it, so I decided to use a satin bonnet or some sort of barrier. I tried using a scarf, but the knot from tying it was getting in the way of my scritching. Here’s what I do:
- Prep hair with a hair oil (something with rosemary/peppermint essential oils is good, but no rosemary if you’re pregnant)
- Put on satin skull cap, plastic cap (on wet hair or if baggy-ing), or satin bonnet
- Take a ball-ended paddle brush, my fingers or Jilbere shower comb and scritch like there’s no tomorrow: move brush in a zig zag pattern vigourously covering entire head. Obviously you don’t want to do it to the point where it hurts or you injure yourself, but just enough pressure. You’ll have to figure out what’s right for you.
- Do this for as long as you can stand. (I used to do it 5-10 minutes a day, but not so much anymore.)
- Cleanses scalp by exfoliating dandruff, debris and dead cells
- Remedies hair loss
- Encourages hair growth
I can not do a better demo than the people that invented the shingling method — Miss Jessie’s. Check out the video on YouTube.
Originally posted, 1/30/09