Keeping My Hair Moisturized While Protective Styling keeping hair moisturized protective styling
It’s a wig!
protective styling with
this full cap wig by Freetress

Last week I started a personal protective style challenge.  A protective style is one that protects the ends of your hair by tucking them away.  My personal challenge is to style my hair this way for a few months.  This will be challenging because I prefer to wear my hair down more often than not.  Hopefully this will lead to the length retention I need in order to gain a few more inches this year.  I plan to do this by wearing my hair in up dos and
under wigs.

Right now,  I only have two wigs and plan to purchase a couple more.   I’ll also be styling my hair in buns, braids and flat twists when I’m not wearing a wig.  I’m doing all of this to keep myself from manipulating my hair.  I suspect that the constant styling
I’m used to has led to my hair length plateau.  For me, more styling
tends to lead to more trimming. keeping hair moisturized protective styling
The moisturizer that saved the day!

Before braiding my hair up last week, I cleansed my hair and scalp with a sulfate free shampoo.  I towel dried my hair and applied leave-in conditioner and grapeseed oil to seal in the moisture.  I assumed that this would be enough to keep my hair moisturized for at least a couple of days.  I also used Eco Styler hair gel to smooth my edges down.  Lastly, I braided my hair into two dutch braids like the ones in my braiding video.  Then I wore my wig during the day and wrapped my hair up at night for about two days.

I  thought that the products and the fact that my hair was braided meant that my hair would stay moisturized under my wig.  Boy was I wrong!  A couple of days later I took my hair down and my hair was so dry.  I quickly applied some moisturizer and then sealed with the grapeseed oil again.  I braided it back up and hoped for the best.  The next day, I could tell that my hair was feeling softer but I still wanted to give it more moisture.  I ended up cleansing my hair again and conditioning.  I decided to do a wash and go style using a heavy conditioner as my leave-in, moisturizer, oil and then gel.  My hair had so much life!  The moisturizer I think was the key.  My leave-in conditioner was not enough on its own. keeping hair moisturized protective styling
My current combination of products
to keep my hair moisturized while protective styling

After wearing my hair curly for a few days, I decided to try again.  This time, after my cleansing routine, I applied a heavy conditioner as my leave-in, moisturizer and grapeseed oil.  Then I brushed my hair back into a simple bun.

I can tell a huge difference in how my hair feels.  If this combination of products works for me, I will continue to do this throughout my protective style challenge.

Thinking About Crochet Braids for a Summer Protective Style crochet braids summer protective styles For a while now I’ve been watching videos on Youtube that illustrate how to install crochet braids.  At first, I was just curious how the style was done.  The crochet braids that I remember were stringy, pre-braided strands that were attached to the hair with a latch hook tool.

It looks like the technique has come a long way since then.  Now,  people are using all different types of hair textures to create various looks.  This means the style can be worn curly or straight; short or long.  I’m interested in doing this type of style over the summer because it looks like an easy way to protect my growing hair while having the look of a style that is always ready to wear.  It may take me up to two to three hours to complete but can last four to six weeks.

I watched several videos on how to install crochet braids and this one, by MamiTresses, was the best at explaining how it’s done.  Enjoy!

Learning How to French Braid Natural Hair

french braiding natural hair
French Braids on my Natural Hair

Recently I posted a Youtube video on how I french braid my natural hair.  I have been wearing my hair braided up more often recently as part of my No Heat Challenge.  It has made things a little easier for me because the weather is cooler these days.  My hair can get really big and full so the french braids make it possible for me to get a hat on my head whenever I want.  I also use the braids to protect my hair while I’m sleeping at night so I won’t have to wake up to tangles in the morning.

I posted the video because I wanted to offer a visual to other naturals of how to do french braids.  I see a lot of comments online from people who have never learned how to braid their hair in this way.  I learned the technique from my mother who braided my hair every week when I was younger.  Sometimes she would do a fancy braided style on my hair but later on she just did one or two french braids with a little bang in front.  When I was about ten years old she taught me how to do it on my own hair.  She also taught me how to do the inverted method which was basically the opposite of french braiding.  I was frustrated with it at first because my braids just didn’t look as nice and tight as when she did them.  I eventually got the hang of it though.

Having this styling technique in my arsenal made it that much easier when I went natural.  When my hair grew past the TWA stage I knew that I could braid my hair up for a braid out or protective style.  I can see now that I’m also saving money because I’ve never gone to someone else to have them braid it for me.  Hopefully more people will learn the technique so that they’ll have more options when styling natural hair.

Becoming Catwoman (Eartha Kitt Style) for Denver Comic Con — Pic Heavy

Me as Eartha Kitt style Catwoman and
Wolverine from the X-Men
at this year’s Denver Comic Con

Yes, I finally did it!  I have wanted to dress up as Catwoman from the Batman Television series and attend a comic book convention for ages.  When I heard that Denver finally had it’s own Comic Con I knew it was time to put a costume together.

For those of you not familiar with what a Comic Book Convention is let me fill you in.  It’s usually a three day event where fans of comic books can gather to meet people from the industry and other fans.  Science fiction movies and television series are also showcased.  There are conventions each year in several major cities and this year was the second convention for Denver.

At the Denver Comic Con my family and I were able to meet many comic book creators, illustrators and graphic artists.  There were even classes, gaming and a film festival.  One of the other fun things about a Comic Con is that there are people who dress up as their favorite characters or superheros.  Knowing this, I decided long ago that if I ever had the chance, I would dress up as Catwoman (Eartha Kitt style no doubt) from the Batman TV series.

We took the kids and had a blast people watching and looking at all of the cool comics and artwork.  My husband has a huge collection of X-Men comics and his favorite character is Wolverine so we were very excited to see someone dressed like him.  It was a long day but we had lots of fun.  I’m just glad I was smart enough to bring a comfortable pair of shoes because those Catwoman high heal boots were just too much!

Old Denim Belt I painted gold with
Acrylic Paint

Rit Dye to turn the Satin Gloves Black
old satin gloves

The costume took some time to put together but I managed to get it done in time.  I purchased the pants at Ross and went thrifting for the top.  The belt I already owned but had to change the color to gold with acrylic paint.  I also had a pair of vintage satin gloves that I died black to match the outfit.

Took this apart and attached
Cat Ears
Gold Belt for some
Catwoman Bling

I really had a lot of fun constructing the mask and ears for the costume.  They were probably the most time consuming but I loved how they turned out.  I took apart an old halloween bat headband and attached cat ears to it constructed out of material and foam from an old cami.  I used more of the same material for the mask after making my own paper template.
Used an old black Cami for
mask and ears
The mask took forever but totally
made the outfit

Now for the hair, my favorite part of course.  I googled the hairstyle Eartha Kitt wore on the Batman Series so that I could see it up close.  Come to find out she wore a braid crown just in front of the cat ears and a long flowy ponytail.  The ponytail was a sinch because I’ve bought drawstring pony’s before but the braid was a little tricky.  I ended up buying a pack of braiding hair and cutting a big section of it to form one long braid.  I put rubber bands on both ends and used bobby pins to secure it.  I used Eco gel to smooth my hair into a high bun and placed the drawstring pony over it.  The style was so cute I didn’t want to take it down!
Section of the braiding hair secured
with a rubber band

Braided down to the end and used another
rubber band to keep from unraveling

Slicked MY hair into a high bun using Eco gel

Attached the braid using bobby pins

Added the drawstring ponytail

Final look with the Mask and Ears
The Denver Comic Con was a blast and I can’t wait to do it again next year!

From Wash n’ Go to Braid Out

For Memorial Day I decided to wear a wash n’ go because it’s seemed to be the easy thing to do with my hair.  I had a few errands to run but still managed to fix myself up before heading out.  One of the things I tried was stretching my roots with the blowdryer for the look of more length.  My hair was still damp when I was done so it shrunk up a little.  Still, I was pretty happy with the end result.

Later that evening, I wanted to co-wash my hair and re-style the wash n’ go which meant re-applying all of the products and waiting for it to dry.  Instead, I decided to just kick back and watch Youtube while braiding my hair up for a braid out.  I was surprised this morning to see the amount of definition I had.  I was also happy with the look of length I got without having to use any heat this time.

There was already plenty of product in my hair from the wash n’ go so I just spritzed each section with a little water before braiding it into plaits.  I then spritzed a little more water on the ends and twisted with my fingers to get a slight curl.  The product in my hair helped with this step.  I didn’t even have to use a comb or denman brush.  I just stretched my hair with my fingers and detangled a little here and there.  It was almost too easy!

I’m beginning to see a routine forming here.  I can totally see myself wearing my wash n’ go’s for a few days and then turning them into braid outs when they start to get a little fuzzy.  I hope this is the case because I get the feeling my hair needs a more simplified routine and this may be it.  What’s funny is the fact that this is what I used to do during my first year natural.  Now I’m not sure why I

ever stopped.

Wash n’ Go on Memorial Day
Braid out the next day