Saturday, February 27, 2010


in the past week or so, i posted an ad on craigslist to start braiding hair as a side hustle. i haven't necessarily given up on mystery shopping, but this is something i can do to get paid THAT DAY, which is a drawback of my other side hustle. i charge between $75 and $100 (although it's so time consuming, i may just move to $100 soon) for kinky twists, senegalese twists, box braids, crochet braids, and yarn braids, and $35-50 for two strand twists, straw sets and the like. it's going pretty well, as i have had 3 clients who have wanted kinky twists or senegalese twists, and hopefully i will have more business next week.

anyway, my client yesterday wanted senegalese twists, and all she told me was that she is natural. i ask her if she has any favorite moisturizers (sort of an over-the-phone consultation before she got here), and she tells me no, but she doesn't use grease in her hair. as soon as she said this, a bell went off in my head....she must know about nikos! i kind of hinted at it once she got here, but she just kept mentioning youtube. eventually i came out and asked her if she was a member of lhcf...and she told me no, but some of her youtube browsing takes her there. the whole time i was twisting her hair, we talked moisturizers, sealing, hair goals (i even showed her pics of my natural hair, curly and straight, since i am in crochet braids and she couldn't see my hair) and more. it turns out she is a pj just like me, but her thing is buying essential oils and butters online. i almost started drooling when we got on the topic of skin care/fitness and she told me about the huge block of black soap she had purchased and all of her uses for it...she learned on youtube how to make it into liquid soap, adding glycerin, honey and all my other favorite DC additives to it. you guys may know by now about my struggles with sulfate shampoos and how they dry out and tangle my hair to the MAX, so when she mentioned she uses this as shampoo, i had to stop and look at her! then she offered to bring me some so i could try it, and i wanted to kiss this child!!

we ran out of hair last night, so she came back this morning to get the twists at her crown finished. not only did she bring me black soap, but she also brought me small containers of mango and avocado butter! y'all know how i am about playing in my hair, so i am realllly fighting to keep these crochet braids in...i just wanna wash my hair and...i don't even know, i just wanna seal it with one of these butters! LMAO...i feel like a fiend who got a fix...but i will let you guys know (of course) when i use them.

Monday, February 22, 2010

my latest project...

now that i've got the hang of crochet braids, i am trying to learn about tree braids. this may be one that i have to get someone else to do for me initially, but i am intrigued. i never really knew what they were, save this one thread on LHCF one time, but even then i didn't read through it to see what the buzz was. the thing i like about crochet braids is the fact that they mimic a really intricate, complex style but take so little time -- for example, normal micros take what, 10-12 hours, but you can get crocheted micros in about 3-4 hours. it's sort of the same deal with tree braids, from what i read...they resemble micros or a sew-in but take 3-5 hours max. what's more is you can use either straight or wavy hair to get the desired if i DO go this route, i'd probably get wet and wavy since i'm definitely a girl who likes versatility. now all that's left is researching them some more -- any time i find a style i am interested in, i read till my eyes are about to fall out, then rest up and watch youtube videos showing different ways people do them. i just started this process last night, so i am not too far in it all, but within the next few weeks i hope to be certain as to whether this is doable or not. if nothing else, i can at least try it on my guinea pig of a sister -- she pretty much is open to anything, so we will see.

hair inspirations

i SO want a full weave with bangs like this...or when i'm MBL i'll get em

now that i am coming closer to my goals (and my hair is safely tucked away so i can't do anything drastic to it), i spend lots of time daydreaming about what i want my hair to look like when it's all grown up. here are a few pictures i have saved to my hard drive over the past few months...everything from cuts to weaves i want to new hair colors. enjoy!

i think the ends of these box braids are LOVELY...pic courtesy of LHCF

i love this ponytail!

her color (and length unstretched) are both dreeeaaaammmmy!
i'd KILL for hair this length...then again, i'll just give myself 2 years, lol

love it or hate it: ion effective care treatment

well, the full name of this thing is a mouthful: ion effective care treatment intensive therapy protein fortifier and moisturizer...but this treatment (which i find a light enough protein for MY protein-happy hair to use whenever i DC) is quickly making its way onto my holy grail list. i purchased it back in january when i had those coupons to use from my december babyliss thermal ionic rollabout dryer purchase, and shelved it for about a week until it was time for me to install my box braids. the day i used it, it gave me all the signs of a good deep conditioner: it was available in a large bottle, it smelled good (as in not offensive), it was thick enough to stay on my overturned hand, and it made my hair feel heavy (and thus moisturized) after sitting with it under the dryer. as an added bonus, it not only counts in my book as a light protein, but it also moisturizes, since my hair looooves panthenol! i could tell that it was a keeper once the little bit of breakage that i was still suffering after going through that matting incident in the hospital came to a halt after my DC session with this bottle -- my hair definitely felt stronger, and there was less of it in the comb. in addition, this was WITHOUT adding anything to it, and you know i love to add honey and oils to my DCs! as an additional test, i used it on my sister's hair undoctored before installing her kinky twists. the difference in her hair was also distinct: way less hair in the comb after i rinsed and began detangling, as well as a heavier, but not coated feeling to her strands. i will definitely be using this on her hair between braid installs. i am SO glad i got the liter bottle, and it's a steal at $11.99 (with my sally card) for a bottle that large! i am becoming more and more impressed with sally's products as time goes all i have to do is try that hairone cleanser and i may have found everything i need for wash day at sally's, styling tools included!

next on the list...

after my box braids came out around the first of the month, i played around with twistouts for about a week and a half since i decided i will allow myself up to 2 weeks between braids/twists to play in my hair (and use up the billions of products in my stash). during that time, i tried HE hydralicious, which i purchased while in box braids (what? it was on sale!) and hadn't gotten a chance to use. i liked it, but need to use it again to get a definitive evaluation. while in my braids, i was perusing LHCF when i came across BlackMasterPiece's thread about crochet braids and with this style! i knew i had to have it, but was unsure of when i would be able to install it...then there was that whole confidence thing about actually being able to do it. anyway, i walked into one of my local BSS's on february 15th to check out their kanekalon when i asked the sales lady, on a whim, if they carried freetress water wave bulk hair. unfortunately, she told me they stopped carrying it, so i went back to the regular braiding hair to pick up three packs of $1.99 braiding hair for senegalese twists. just as some $7.99 wavy braiding hair caught my eye, my mom entered and came over to where i was. coincidentally, she picked up a random pack of hair and asked me "why don't you get this?" lo and behold, she was holding a pack of blonde $9.99 freetress water wave...AFTER the lady told me they didn't have it! my jaw DROPPED, and i asked her where she got it, hoping that maybe they had a solid brown or something in that family. she shrugged and said it was laying on top of the rack, and i frantically searched to see if there were any other wayward packs while she asked at the front if they had more. she got the same answer (plus a shocked look) from the sales lady...and then a man came out from behind the counter and came over to where i was standing to look for more. he ended up finding TWO MORE packs, which was perfect since i was going to buy three packs of whatever i was getting anyway. i was concerned again with the color, since he had two blonde-ish packs and one that was T33, a black-and-red sort of combo. he then not only reassured me that they would blend nicely, but said the magic words: "i'll sell to you for a good price"! i looked at the $7.99 pack in my hand, asked him what price, and he offered to sell me them for $6.99 a pack. i looked at my mom for her opinion on the colors, and she told me they should be fine, although she then admitted she knows nothing about "fake hair", her term for everything from half wigs to kanekalon. i know i should have asked for $6 just to ensure i wouldn't feel bad if the colors looked crazy on me, but i wasn't thinking at this point and i simply said yes. that is the story of how i got my crochet braid hair...the rest is history.

well, not really...i guess there is more to the story. i shampooed my hair, DC'd with my new favorite, ion effective care intensive therapy treatment -- which really deserves its own post, blow dried my hair mostly straight so she wouldn't rip through it, and got my cousin to do my cornrows the next day since i didn't feel like it (and hers are tighter than mine). she didn't quite listen to my request for 16 straight back cornrows once she heard i was doing crochet braids and instead did 10 curved ones. there was also a glitch with my sister heard "crochet hook" and that's exactly what she gave me, claiming she couldn't find her latch hook. since the hair wouldn't stay on, i pulled a BMP (my term for doing what the thread author did) and used a bobby pin to install the hair. i was a bit concerned when the knots weren't tight since none of the youtube videos i watched (and trust me, i watched a TON) mentioned this, but i went forward...and eventually, it didn't seem to matter: the hair stayed in and ended up looking great. also, the fact that she did curved braids seemed to work out better, since i don't have that "driveway", as one youtuber called it, running down the middle of my head where the hair is parted and falls on its own. i split ALL my braiding hair into 3 sections instead of just the hair on the sides, gelling each piece like BMP did, but with matrix biolage gelee (glycerin free, as recommended), and ended up saving myself a whole pack-and-some-change...i only used a pack and a half in the end, so i have enough left over to do this style again with these colors! what's even better is the guy at the BSS was right, and these colors look great together. i felt so relieved when i realized it, and noticed he wasn't just trying to make a sale. i will admit i added too much in the beginning on one side, but it wasn't anything a pair of scissors couldn't fix. hopefully maintenance will be as easy as people have said and it will last me closer to the 6 week end of the spectrum...i have LOTS of gel at my disposal, as well as lots of braid spray and conditioner (i do think i will attempt cowashing around week 4). i also got the idea last night to pull a Nichi (it's a shame how i refer to styles/techniques by the LHCF user i got the idea from, lol) and cut the hair shorter once it starts to lose steam.

now that the hair is in, i have gotten quite a few from my cousin who put the cornrows in (her words: "that didn't turn out half bad", which is as close to a compliment as she can give, lol), another from my ex's mother (who asked me a million questions before deciding that she wants me to do her hair like this for the summer) and even one from my anti-fake-hair mother, who was so impressed that when i told her i was ordering more hair this weekend (hairsisters had an amaaaaazing weekend dash sale, where all their freetress bulk hair was $4.60 a pack), she asked me to pick up two packs for HER so she can wear her hair like this! this style is definitely a keeper...glad i am building my style arsenal and looking flyy while doing it!