I want a hat that is large enough to cover up my braids when I'm trying to do a braid-out. For some reason my hair is never dry by morning when I'm taking the kids to school. Then, when I wear my hair out, the hats that I see at the store are just not big enough for my hair...lol! So, I've decided to make my own. That way I can make it as big as I need to.
Which brings us to the slouchy beret that I've been working on since early September. I found the beret crochet pattern on YouTube (my second home). It was posted by Bethintx1 in four seperate videos where she takes you through it step by step. The color I used (Limelight) is not really something I would wear out but the hat turned out kinda cute anyway. I did a couple more increase rows to make a "Rasta" style hat. I'm gonna start the pattern again (the first try was for experimentation) and make a few variations this time.
The yarn I'm using is called, "I Love this Yarn," and is available at Hobby Lobby for about $3.50 (USD) per skein. I like that it's acrylic for easy washing and is super soft which makes it nice to work with. It's not only perfect for my budget but it comes in so many fabulous colors. My second beret is going to be done in the color "Ivory" which will be a fun look for the winter months.
I joined yet another group over at the K.I.S.S. network. This time it's a group where we will be doing "Satin Braid-Outs" and sharing info on how to perfect the look. I watched a video on YouTube by NinaPruitt where she demonstrates how to do it. I used a long satin scarf that I thought would work and cut it into 4 strips. I cut it using pinking shears because I didn't want the fabric to fray. My hair was freshly washed and conditioned so I applied the KimmayTube Leave-in where I substituted Giovanni Direct Leave-In for my creamy base and coconut oil instead of jojoba oil. Then I sealed in the moisture with my castor, coconut and olive oil mixture.
The braiding wasn't as tricky as I expected. It was just like adding extension hair to a braid except you're using a piece of satin fabric. My strips were not quite long enough though so tyeing the ends was a little awkward. The next morning, my hair was very defined but, the strips did leave small pieces of frayed fabric in my hair. I did not enjoy picking those out of my hair all day. Also, my hair was still damp which I knew would lead to crazy, frizzy hair so I put it up into a protective style.
So it's back to the drawing board on this one. I'll have to check back with my group and find out what other ladies are doing for this style. I really hope to get the braid-out down because I know it will come in handy later on.
My Dad is a licensed barber and has been cutting other people's hair since I was very young. He always did cuts and trims for friends and family. I remember when he used to cut my younger brothers' hair. When they were small he would sit them on top of phone books on a chair in the kitchen.
My mother on the other hand was always very good with braiding hair. She taught me how to french braid my own hair when I was 10 years old. Now that I'm Natural, I'm very grateful for learning this technique.
My younger brother and I took after my dad and learned how to cut hair for our friends. I did it more as a hobby throughout college and to get practice for when I did my own hair. My brother is currently going to school to become a licensed barber. He even participated in a "Barber Cut-Off" earlier this year at a large hairshow in downtown Denver. I am proud to say that he is very skilled at his craft.
Now that I have a family of my own, we do things just like when I was growing up. My husband has long straight hair and my boys have short curly fros. Mine is definitely the thickest of the bunch. Still, I manage to somehow keep up with everyone's individual hair needs. I do all of our trims; curly and straight. My trims are usually once a month. Sometimes I'll even have my mother over for a trim and flat iron. For me, it's just always been this way. When it comes to hair, we like to keep it in the family.
I recently found Reshma Hennaat a local Indian grocery store. After hearing about it online, I thought I would try it out. For 200 grams the cost was only three dollars. I figured if it worked I was definitely going back to buy more. Well, it not only worked, it also rinsed out a lot easier than the henna I used in the past.
I combined 100 grams Reshma Henna with about 50 grams Amla powder which is a great conditioner. I also had a little Moroccan Henna leftover from my Hennasooq.com order so I figured I would use the rest. The resulting color definitely covered my stubborn greys but was still very burgundy red. Indoors it still looks dark but you can really see the red tone in the sun. I was hoping for a different result because amla is known for darkening but, oh well.
On other occasions I combined Indigo with my Henna for a brunette color. Somehow I was still ending up with a more reddish auburn. I may end up going black by applying the Indigo to my hair after I've rinsed the henna. I've heard that this 2 step process will also give the best gray coverage. Either that or I'll give the henna/indigo mix one more go but this time using more indigo.
When I was researching what styles would work best for my transition into Natural hair, I found that wearing braids would be a good choice. Here's the thing...the last time I had my hair in braids was when I was 10 years old. My mother used to braid my hair 1 to 2 times each week. I had never gone to a stylist to have it braided. I had heard all of the horror stories of people getting their braids done and it hurting so bad the first couple of days. Then there was the cost. I was not interested in spending tons of money to have someone else do them for me. I learned about the "Crown and Glory Technique" at Growafrohairlong.com. There were lots of women who were using this method to grow their hair by wearing it in braids a couple months at a time. Here's the kicker, they were all braiding their own hair with professional results in most cases.
I found a twenty minute video on the site that explained how to do braid extensions yourself. I was amazed to see how easy it was (or at least in the video). It showed everything from how to select the hair to how to finish the ends. The tutorial took all of the mystery out of doing extensions. So, I watched the video a few times and headed to my local bss. I was so confident that I didn't even ask for help from a salesperson.
When I got home, I started prepping the hair, carefully following the instructions in the video. Once the hair was ready I got started on my first few braids. Thank goodness I started in the back. I quickly found out that it would take a bit of practice but I finally got the hang of it. I probably worked for 5 hours that night and then another 3 the next morning (after taking my son to school with an Axel Rose scarf on my head..lol!). When I finished, I was so proud of my hair (and I did it for under $30 bucks!).
Thing is...after two months, I just couldn't take those braids. It was the worst feeling not being able to see my hair. Also, since it was my first time, I was constantly having to re-braid sections after each wash. Sadly, I haven't done them since. Now, when I want a braided style, I just work with my own natural hair which is a lot less work. I still use some of what I learned in the video. I get asked by my subscribers on YouTube how I manage to get them to look so neat in back. I just say, "It's easier than you think," and direct them to the site.
I joined the "Ultimate Hair Growth Challenge," on K.I.S.S. at the end of August. It lasts for 6 months and only requires two things:
1. Use a growth aid 2-5 times per week
2. Take a multivitamin every day
At the beginning of the challenge, I was on the tail end of a bottle of Women's One a Day vitamins. I can't say too much about them as far as hair growth because I didn't notice any difference while using them. I also kept having an upset stomach whenever I took them. The hair challenge gave me a good enough excuse to start looking for
I wanted a vitamin that would give me the minerals I need along with some natural elements. So I headed to one of my favoriteNatural Grocery stores called Vitamin Cottage where I often shop for supplements and natural hair care products. The prices are reasonable and they have a pretty good selection. I settled on the Women's One Food Based Multivitamin by Rainbow Light. It is gentler on my stomach (as the bottle states) and is made with things like kale and spinach juice, organic spirulina, probiotics and enzymes. So far, I prefer it over my old vitamin because with it being easier to take, I'm keeping up with it better. I can almost swear that my nails are growing faster so that tells me it may a good choice for my hair growth challenge. My first length check is at the end of October so we'll see how it goes.