Saturday, June 8, 2013

Bunning without Hairline Damage: The Coily Hair Technique


Imagine a slinky, (for those of you who do not know what a slinky is--you missed out LOL).
The Slinky
Although the rings are large, this joker is tightly curled. That was what enabled it to move as it did. No matter how you stretched it (unless you broke it), that joker was going to coil back up into it's original position (a coil).

That pretty much describes coily hair. 

Now imagine attempting to pull coily hair straight. That will require lots of consistent tension. Pulling and pulling, tugging and finally---HOLD. GUESS WHAT? The coils would still be trying to pull back into it's original position..(a coil). Possible end results of all of that tugging, pulling, and holding? Breakage, and inflammation mostly along the hairline where the tension is the most.

Ahhh, the beloved BUN

This is why it is so important that pulled back styles are done without putting tension on the hairline. In the previous post, techniques were discussed that would avoid tension on the hairline--even when wearing buns, ponytails, and other tension hair-styles. 

In this post, I will quickly share yet another method for avoiding hairline damage while wearing sleek, pulled back styles.

Most of us know that one way to stretch coily type hair is by doing braidouts, twist-outs, bantu knots, etc. These are heat free ways of creating a texture that safely expands the coils.

 By expand, I mean that it takes a coil and stretches it into a less tightly wound texture. Now with the tighter coil stretched out, there will be less resistance from the hair while attempting to slick the hair back into a sleek style. Less resistance means less breakage and less irritation on the hairline. 

That being said, let's put this method into action:

Our resident Ballerina had a photo shoot, and it was a requirement that all of the girls wore a sleek, pulled back bun. The hairline had to be smooth, sleek, and the bun could not have any slack. Normally, that can be a recipe for disaster for the coily-haired girl, but this mama/hairstylist/cook/maid (I digress) was ready for the challenge. 


  1. The day before the shoot, Miss Busy-Body Dimples had a birthday party appearance to make LOL! Needing to be as "Diva" as usual, she requested to wear her hair "down". I co-washed her coily hair, and did a towel blot and slight air dry. Then I did a blow dry on medium setting, just using the tension method for stretch. The style for the party that day was medium sized box braids.
  2. The day of the photo shoot, I took down the braids. Now the hair was stretched (almost to the maximum stretch for her tightly coiled hair). With the tightly coiled ringlets now stretched, I did not have to concern with pulling and tugging along her hairline. Her hairline was easily smoothed down with a satin scarf laid down on moisturized hair. This pretty much eliminated frizz and laid down her thick hair smoothly for a nice, sleek bun.
    Tightly Coiled Hair: Stretched

     Now I was able to use a slight pomade style edge slicker for that added sleek and shine, but with hair that was moisturized, stretched, smoothed back and laid down (by the satin scarf), it wasn't really necessary. 

    The best thing is that I did not have to pull too tightly to have her hairline lay smooth, the process of moisturizing and stretching did all of the work. You see, Dimples' hairline will show that it has been under stress--little bumps will appear. I've seen scalp inflammation/irritation lead to hair loss, so I'm very cautious with these sleek styles.
    Close Look at Hairline Shows Little White Bumps: Tension Alert

    Again, this story isn't just about the little ones, I also make sure not to tug and pull at  my hairline. Not only do I get a headache, but I can see the stress that the sleeked back style puts on my hairline. Constantly doing these styles without avoiding severe tension will cause unnecessary problems, especially on the hairline. This is why I like to stretch my hair before pulling it back. Even when I DO pull it back, I typically pull it back in a way that the full tension is not on the hairline.

    LAST NOTE: Funny thing is--some folks have hairline of steel, while others have delicate, fragile hairlines. It makes sense, due to the different hair-types, density, thickness of the strands. It confirms my theory that not every hair-type or condition/health/strength of hair is able to withstand a hair relaxer. The same goes for constant tension styling....some hairlines will disappear before others. So with that said, what's good for one, may not be good for all. Baby those edges!

    And as always, I leave you with lots of Love...................................................................tia


  1. This is the third time in quite a long time that I'm wearing my signature puff. This is because I've noticed that the more I keep my hair up, the more my hairline breaks even if I don't feel any pain or get bumps around there.
    Also, my edges do I put this?....umm....they look scanty, like they're barely there then once i get out my denman and use the side of it to brush them up, it's like suddenly, I have hair there.
    I've been considering trying out my first bun, but I'll need to like really stretch out this birds nest of mine and like, I don't know if it's just me that this happens to, but I stretch my hair out, like stretch it out till it's almost straight and then, I watch it shrink up like I'm literally seeing it shrink right there as I stare at it in the mirror. I'm considering waiting till winter before I try out my first bun (so I have longer hair to deal with and the shrinkage won't make it harder to get everything up).

    1. I forgot to mention the puffs in the tension scheme of things. I think I originally had the puffs on my mind as one of the major culprits. The puffs are very cute, and work out well for difficult-to-style lengths of hair, but I recall pulling my puff with elastic headbands. They were pulled pretty tight usually (in an effort to pull back the coils). I do remember my edges feeling the pain. I couldn't wear too many puffs--often got a headache. p.s. It's not just you--I stretched my hair with a braidout on Saturday (forgot to put anti-reversion product), then went to the beach on Sunday..and had a huge weird looking fro in a matter of 30 minutes! Pretty upsetting LOL!

  2. "Hairline of steel" . . . now that is funny and a great way to start my day.

  3. LOL! Glad to make you laugh---your musings have gotten plenty of chuckling from me over here :o)

  4. Tia....umm....I think I learnt how to do a puff with just bobby pins....x_X *hairlines dance with joy* :)

    Oh! and i tried out amla a few day ago and i absolutely love it! Wish I had tried it earlier. Had to watch one of your vids before using it though, 'cause I wasn't sure exactly what to do.

    And.....I sent you a message on YouTube some weeks ago, don't know if you saw it.

    1. Hey Sammy! I can't wait to see it! I haven't checked in with my Youtube in a minute...gonna do it soon. I love the wake up that an amla wash does for curly hair!!! It's still my favorite way to clean my hair/scalp :o)

  5. I never had problems with my hairlines until i went on a hair salon and got box braids so tight that when i took it down my hairline completly broke off! i was starting my transition and i didnt know better otherwise i wouldnt do so many buns after that...But now that i have 100% natural hair and im in the awekward (in-between) stage im doing a lot of puffs,but instead of using elastics headbandes i use a stocking-which holds the hair up without causing tension

    1. I love that idea Naomi! Now I have something to do with all of those stockings I never use LOL!