Tag Archives: updos

Get Pillow Soft Curls on Kinky Hair (and other types)

Ever wonder the secret to gorgeous curls? Are you tired of the plain old twistout or braidout? Does the curl fall out of your bantu knots as soon as you take them down? The other day a lady complimented me on my hair. She was like, “Wow, it looks so soft and shiny…Can I touch it?” Proudly, I said, “Sure!” Normally, I might hesitate  but I was feeling my curls. Here’s my technique using bantu knots to achieve an optimum curl.

1. Start with stretched or blown out hair. If you are strictly a no heat person, then working with an old twistout or banding technique will do fine. Stretching will give you more length and flexibility and dry faster.




2. Go one section at a time. Section hair into medium to large chunks, about 1-2 inches wide.

3. Smooth out kinks with oil and a wide-tooth comb. I used Eden Body Works Jojoba and Monoi Oil and coconut oil to smooth out my hair. Using the oil will prevent hair from becoming too hard or flaking. A dab of oil on each section will do.

4. Do not use gel. Use a good curly pudding. For this I used Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding. A dab or two will do. You don’t want too much because the product mixed with oil will be too gloppy.

5. MY SECRET: Two-strand twist the hair before bantu knotting…why? Makes kinky hair more curly, and lasts longer. Kinky hair is thick, so the more sections you make, the more curl you can add.

6. Allow bantu knots to set over night. Before taking down your hair, squeeze the knot to make sure the hair is completely dry. It is still feels damp, or if too much oil is coming out, your hair will be frizzy and have little curl. If you have time, wait another day…seriously. Or, sit under a hooded dry on a low setting to speed up drying time.

Day 1 Bed Time 

You should still have enough curl left in your hair to not have to do much to it. All I did for day one is make sure my curls where laying uniform and gently crunched them under my satin hair bonnet.

Day 2 Bed Time (and beyond)
By the end of day 2, my hair was pretty frizzy. So, I decided to retwist and re-bantu only using a moisturizing cream. I focused primarily on smoothing product on my ends, then smoothed down from root to end. At Day 3 you might consider spritzing with water to rehydrate your hair. You can repeat the day 1 routine with the curly pudding which I find gives more sheen than just using the moisturizing cream. However, if this is my day to day style, then I like using just the cream for less build up. I would not do this past a week due to product build up and the potential for overstyling abuse.

Hope you enjoyed this style. Let us know if you have tried or plan to try this style.

Great Low Maintenance Style: Pompadour/Bang Bun Updo

I often talk about this blog about how I have no time to fuss with my hair. I tend to stick with low manipulation styles that last a long time. This week, I’m wearing my hair in a pompadour and bun updo style. It is cute, extremely easy to do and maintain. These pics are from a friend’s birthday party I went to over the weekend. Here are a few tips on how I achieved this style.


1. I work with hair that has already been stretched either from a blowout, twistout or other method.

2. Next, I take about a third of my hair in the front to make a bang. Then secure it out of the way with a hair clip or scrunchy.

3. My hair was a little dry so I moisturized it by lightly spritzing with a detangling spray. Then I smoothed in some hair milk. Be sure to separate the hair so that you get good coverage throughout that section. Use sparingly. Making the hair too wet will cause more shrinkage. (You will get some shrinkage by moisturizing, but it’s worth it for the sake of your hair.). Lastly, I sealed in moisture with coconut oil (use oil of choice).

4. Use the oil to smooth out the hair with your hands from root to end. Gather the hair into a ponytail or puff atop your head. Secure with a hair tie or ouchless headband. I prefer to use a headband and double-loop it for a tighter hold that doesn’t hurt. I find it to be the best solution for gathering a whole bunch a kinky or thick hair.

5. Make a bun by separating the puff into two sides. Start with one side, and roll the hair down and around and secure with hair pins. Be sure to cover the headhand with your hair. I don’t worry about making a perfect bun…remember I have no time to fuss with my hair.

6. Repeat steps 3 and 4 on the front section. Finger-roll the bang/pompadour by clamping the end of your hair with your index and middle finger. Use your other index finger to roll the hair under. Secure with hair pins. I used to use this technique back in the day as a little girl to make bangs.

7. For an added touch, I tied a pretty scarf around my head and made a bow on top.

Hope you enjoy this style as much as I do. Let know if you have done it or plan to do it in the comment section or on our Facebook page.

Captivating Photos of Vintage African Beuaty

When I ran across this article on BGLH’s site, I felt these images of African beauty were so captivating, I had to share. The photos display how well-to-do African women from the Ivory Coast styled their hair and adorned themselves in the early 1900s.  These photos make me proud of our history and culture. It’s interesting that they kept their hair in updos, because these days I find myself wearing mostly updos. The original post can be found at Adire African Textiles


According the website, these images are from two series of postcards produced between 1900 and 1910 by the photographer F.W.H Arkhurst in Grand Bassam, Ivory Coast. Arkhurst, a member of the Nzima ethnic group born in the Gold Coast , was a timber exporter who lived in Assinie and later in Grand Bassam. His studio photographs capture perfectly the then fashionable style of  women’s dress along the African coast from the Niger Delta to the Ivory Coast as families grew prosperous from trading opportunities in the expanding colonial economies. Hair was swept high and adorned with gold jewellery or wrapped in cloth, tailored dress was of imported cotton prints, often with a shawl or wrap of locally woven fabrics.



Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Looking for a new styling system? Product Review: Sofn’Free’s Nothing But

I’m so excited to review a brand new product line by Sofn’Free’s Nothing But…”Nothing, what?,” you say. Their claim is Nothing But the best ingredients and nothing but honest hair care at an affordable price. And you know what? I believe them. I had the opportunity to try the full product line which includes a Clarifying Shampoo, Cleansing Conditioner, Intense Healing Mask, Curly Pudding, Curl Sealer, Curl Wake Up Spray, Mold & Hold Wax. I used each product according to the directions to construct the style you see. I committed to using the product in my daily routine to give a complete review.

Before I get into the results, I had some very specific questions about the products. There is a lot of conflicting information on whether or not you should practice the “No-poo” shampooing method or stick with traditonal shampooing. Furthermore, I wanted to bring clarity to when and why you should use a clarifying shampoo. So, I decided to ask the experts at Sofn’free, Nothing But.

LYN: You recommend every week or so to cleanse the hair and scalp with Nothing But Conditioning Cleanser. What makes the Cleansing Conditioner a cleansing agent?
Nothing But: The Nothing But Cleansing Conditioner is a conditioner that acts as a light cleanser while it coats the hair cuticle. The cleaning part comes into play when the conditioner’s surfactants surround dirt, dislodge it, and rinse away.

LYN: Why should it [Cleansing Conditioner] take the place of regular shampoos in your hair regimen?
Nothing But: Buildup of sebum (oil produced by the scalp), styling products and everyday dirt could hinder hair growth and manageability. To ensure hair is clean but not stripped of moisture, Will Williams (Master Cosmetologist and Director of Education for Nothing But) recommends upgrading one’s shampoo experience by alternating cleansing formulas throughout the month, choosing from among a sulfate-free shampoo or co-wash and a clarifying shampoo.

LYN: Why should you use a clarifying shampoo only once a month?
Nothing But: Curls worn with true curl definition that require multiple layers of holding, molding or curly-enhancing products could require up to bi-weekly clarifying. It’s personal. However, every hair type requires at least monthly deep-cleaning washes, even dry hair, as long as deep conditioning follows to replace the conditioners. A deep cleanse removes product buildup, heavy minerals and salts, medications and chlorine. Since sulfates found in some shampoos could strip natural hair oils and affect color, avoid shampoos that contain them (our Nothing But formula has none).

My thoughts about each product:

Cleansing Conditioner
I’m sort of old school, so I was skeptical about using a “conditioner” to wash my hair. I know that conditioner has surfactants  which clean the hair, but it still didn’t seem “right.” Well, after I tried the Nothing But Cleansing Conditioner, I’m a new “believer.” It was not really sudsy, but my hair still felt clean. It felt much softer than when I use traditional shampoos. Of course, you can still use this product as just a conditioner.

Clarifying Shampoo
Let me pause and say that all the products smelled really good…and that is important because no one likes smelly hair, no matter how good the product is. The shampoo did a really good job of removing buildup and residue from my hair. It was nice and sudsy. My scalp also felt clean and fresh. Like with most clarifying shampoos, my hair felt “squeaky” clean which means time to restore moisture with really a good conditioner.

Intense Healing Mask
After washing with the Clarifying Shampoo it was important to follow up with a deep conditioner like the Intense Healing Mask. This product is designed to restore damaged brittle hair. I can’t say that my was damaged and brittle, but certainly after having your hair in one style for a couple weeks it could use some TLC. My hair felt smooth and strenghtened after use.

Curl Sealer
This product is a great moisturizer. It became my go-to product to quickly revive dry hair and seal in moisture. The product does the job without being cakey. The curl sealer quickly absorbs into the hair strand and seals the cuticle without that white residue.

Curly Pudding

You know, the funny thing about my hair is that the curly pudding immediately gave me and defined curl pattern when used on wet hair, then after about 20 minutes it shrivels back up into a tiny afro. The Curly Pudding did give me a really nice twistout. It was soft and well-defined. I used it to refresh dry twists at night as well.

Curl Wake Up Spray

A very fitting name, the Curl Wake Up Spray does a fabulous job of reviving old, tired hair. This product also became my go-to product to bring moisture back to my old twistouts. Then I used the curl sealer to seal in moisture and the Curly Pudding to set my twists. Great styling trio!

Mold & Hold Wax
To date, I have not used a product that was able to tame unruly edges like this one. Seriously. I was very impressed that a non-gel product could make my edges stay up. My only issue was that when used on dry hair it can look a little waxy. To work around that, I added some herbal oil over it to smooth the product into the hair. The Mold & Hold Wax also did a nice job of setting my flat-twists. I kept them in for a couple weeks and did not experience any flaking or build up. Great product for tightening up locs.


Check back in later for a tutorial of the two-strand twist updo style (with options) in the pictures. Like our Facebook page to stay update-to-date on new posts, product reviews, and topic discussions.