Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Real Secret Behind Detangling Curly Hair: The Coily Hair Edition

Hey Beautifuls,

I have a secret to share with you. In a moment, you will say goodbye to frightening wash days with regrettable detangling stories. In previous blog posts, I've outlined our detangling process--which remains the same to this day. Let me quickly bullet point them for you.

  • Pre-poo (oil/conditioner on dampened hair prior to detangling)
  • Goody (or any ball tip paddle brush) tool
  • Start detangling at the very extreme tip of the hair ends. 
  • Detangle under running water with your favorite conditioner
  • Work your way up the hair shaft INCH BY INCH under the running water
  • The thicker your hair, the more sections you will want to work in. I like to make approximately 4 sections  

These tips have helped us to detangle without any tears. Knots, tangles, rips and tears are at the top of the list why most people decide to put chemicals in their hair

What if I told you that I have a secret to drastically reducing the drama from coily hair tangles? If you have already implemented the above tips into your detangling routine, then you are half-way there.


Have you ever heard of the Chinese finger trap? Here's a picture of it just to jog your memory. We've all played with it at one point in our lives. They're mostly given out at birthday parties. I remember my anxiety one time when I couldn't remove my pointer fingers from this coily toy. I was scared, so I started pulling harder. When I pulled harder, it actually tightened the hold on my fingers. It wasn't until I relaxed my fingers and stopped pulling that I could release my fingers from this trap.

The funny thing is that the Chinese finger trap is similar in design to coily hair. It is considered a helically wound braid. Designed with the helix structure, the Chinese finger trap could be likened to coily hair, which is described to "grow in a tiny spring-like, helix shape".

The helix structure (long story short) is made to tighten when pulled. The circumference of the coil will narrow. When speaking about the mysteries of coily hair, when the coil narrows, it will make detangling difficult. Why? Because the coil becomes resistant, and will not "give". When you pull with a detangling tool--using strength and force, the coil narrows and tightens. In effect, causing the need for additional force. 

The Chinese finger trap has been known to break when a user engages too much force. Ideally though, the user will just relax, and the trap will release. The same goes for detangling coily hair. While using the above referenced detangling tips, try doing the following:
  • DO NOT engage your arm muscle force
  • Simply use your wrist, while patiently and gently moving the brush along the length of the hair (starting at the extreme hair end/tips).
At first, this may seem useless, but in seconds, you will see that the brush will glide through the coils.

---------------------------------------------------------------------Always for you,

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Bad Things Do Happen at The Hair Salon: The Coily Hair Edition

"So here's my dilemma, do I say anything--or do I let her continue to destroy my hair--and all of the progress that I've made so far? What would you do?"

 Photo Credit: darkskinnedblackbeauty.tumblr.com

If you've ever had to ask yourself that question while at the hair dresser, then this post is for you.

So today is a follow up to yesterday's post where I vent about our salon visit. Yes, the plot thickened, and I can honestly say that I was "ready" for the usual crud that goes on in these salons.

You see, unfortunately, learning about techniques and products that address all of the different types of curly/coily hair is NOT required training for a salon to be able to accept naturally coily haired clients. That being said, much goes on that makes absolutely NO SENSE in the curly world.

I have a friend who washes, conditions, and detangles her hair BEFORE she even steps foot into a salon. That way, all that's left to do is use setting lotion and roller set her hair. This master plan helps her to avoid damage to her ends, avoid lots of pain, and avoid regretful tomorrows. She says they always give her the "stink eye", and some stylists are straight up rude to her for doing this. I don't see why anyone should care, she's still paying good money. If there's any problems with the roller set (such as product build-up, hair not cleansed properly)--they can always let her know that was done by her.

I wish I had done this before I went to this salon. In all actuality, I wish I had never went to this salon. Going to a Dominican Salon in a "country" part of town is most definitely risky business. How much practice they've gotten with caring for coily hair may not be suitable for the best experience. I don't want a stylist "practicing" on me--while acting like they are a "pro".

That's exactly what happened in this instance. 
Not only could this stylist not manage my length, thickness, and tightly coiled hair--she could not detangle it, nor could she lay it down on the roller. By the time she wrapped a big mess of hair around the roller, the section was dry and puffy. You WILL NOT get a proper "set" with dry hair--it has to be soaking wet. So by the time I got from under the hair dryer, my hair was still a bit thick, and ashy--not sleek and bouncy as a wet set is supposed to be.

How Disappointing.

In regards to the improper detangling (using a wide tooth comb, starting from the roots, ripping and pulling), what did I do, you ask?

I asked her if she had a paddle brush. When she showed it to me, I asked her if I could show her an easy way to detangle my extremely curly hair. She was not happy, but I did it in a kind way so as not to "embarrass" her. I was the one being embarrassed by the way she was looking like my hair was breaking off her arms.

I showed her how to wet the hair, start from the ends and slowly work the way up the hair shaft. She seemed to have filed away a new tool for detangling coily hair in her mind--but she definitely wouldn't let me know that I knew better than she did. After all...she's the professional.

Would YOU take the brush away from a "professional" and detangle your hair? Or, would you sit quietly and let the stylist finish detangling (no matter the breakage, pain, and destruction to your hair). 

NOT ANYMORE. I sat by quietly for too long, while letting these professionals damage my hair. Most of the time I had to go home and cry (or be very upset). This applies to relaxer applications, hair trims that turn into haircuts, bad color jobs, and much much more. This is not limited to coily hair types...any woman can experience bad service at a hair salon. 

I just know now that I will keep my eyes open, and respectfully relate my wishes. After all, it's my hair.


Until Next Post................................................................................................................Tia