wash n go for length

4 Month No Heat Challenge Results

www.curlyincolorado.com no heat challenge length checkI finally completed my No Heat Challenge which went from October 1, 2013 to February 1, 2014.  It may sound crazy but it was the longest that I had gone without using heat since my transition to natural hair.  At first, I thought maybe I was going to succumb to the urge to straighten my hair or use a blow dryer.  Once I got the hang of styling my hair in other ways, it ended up being easier than I expected.




During the challenge I allowed myself the use of my hooded dryer for roller sets and drying my wash n’ go curls.  Other than that, I usually just air dried my hair.  My favorite styles ended up being braid outs and ponytail roller sets.  These were easy ways to stretch my hair that also gave my hair manageability.

www.curlyincolorado.com no heat challenge length check
My Current Hair Length
February 2014

Once the four month challenge was over, I straightened my hair for a length check.  I was happy to see that my layers were finally growing out.  After flat ironing my hair I decided to give myself a much needed trim.  One of the things I noticed though was how many single strand knots I had to cut out.  Not good!  My thoughts on that were that maybe I should stay away from tightly curly styles until I get to a length where I’m comfortable with just maintaining.  For now, I’ll be using stretched styles to try and keep the knots under control.

I’ve decided that I’ll probably go another three months before using heat to straighten my hair again.  I really liked how the new hair growing in felt so much thicker and healthier.  I don’t want to damage it by using excess heat.  Overall, I’m pleased with the results and am glad that I challenged myself in this way.  I learned a lot about my hair and what it needs, which will help me obtain my goals.

Have you ever participated in a hair challenge?

wash n go for length

Easy Up-Do on Stretched Natural Hair

www.Curlyincolorado.com stretched natural hair style
Easy Up-Do on Stretched Natural Hair

There are all sorts of ways to stretch natural hair and I’ve pretty much tried them all.  Thing is, I am always stuck trying to figure out how to style my hair once it’s stretched.  Enter the Up-Do.  After watching plenty of videos on the subject, I can finally say I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve.

The Crown Braid style that I demonstrated in my french braiding video is a favorite of mine.  It can last several days if I keep it wrapped up at night.  Lately though I wanted something with a little more pizazz and found this look that was also really easy
to do.

This is similar to the look that Teyonah Parris rocked on the red carpet at the SAG awards last year.  I like that you can change this into a mohawk style or go with a simple bun.  This is truly where stretched natural hair shines because the texture gives fullness to the style.

Here’s a pictorial of how I achieved this style.

I first sectioned off my bangs with a u-shape part

curlyincolorado.com stretched natural hair style

Then I split the rest of my hair into two sections parting from ear to ear.  Next, I pulled each section into ponytails using elastic bands to secure.  

curlyincolorado.com stretched natural hair style

Now it’s time for some bobby pins.  I just took the bottom ponytail and split the hair into three.  I finger rolled my hair like I was pincurling it and bobby pinned the hair down towards the base of the elastic. 

curlyincolorado.com stretched natural hair style
Finger Rolling

curlyincolorado.com stretched natural hair style
Roll down toward the base of the elastic

curlyincolorado.com stretched natural hair style
Pin Down with a Bobby Pin

 I took the other two sections and did the same thing, pinning them around the sides of the elastic for a full bun effect.

curlyincolorado.com stretched natural hair style
This ponytail was split into three sections

I did the same rolling and pinning on the second/top ponytail and then moved on to the bangs. 

curlyincolorado.com stretched natural hair style

 The bangs can be pinned back into a pompadour or swooped forward.  This is usually where I freestyle a bit until I get the hair how I want it.  

curlyincolorado.com stretched natural hair style
Swooped bangs

I finished the style by smoothing the sides with a soft bristle brush and there you have it.  So Easy!

curlyincolorado.com stretched natural hair style
The finished look

This Up-Do is too easy to pass up.  Let me know if you give it a try!

 

wash n go for length

Finally on Facebook and Instagram

I know I’m pretty late on this but bear with me.  I started a page on Facebook sometime ago but was never really sure how to keep it separate from all of my other Facebook ongoings.  My friends and family already hear enough about my hair as it is and I didn’t want to blast them with it on there too.  So the Facebook page for my blog was born but then it just sat for a while.  Fast forward to this fall, where I’ve been a lot more productive for some reason and got back to this whole social media thing.

I also decided to start an account on Instagram because I really like photography.  I figured it would be a fun way to update my YouTube subscribers on some of the daily styling I do with my hair.  Since I upgraded to a new phone I thought it was a good time to check it out.  I have since found out that there is a ton of stuff to see on Instagram and I’m having a lot of fun with it.

MY VIDEO INTRODUCING MY SUBSCRIBERS TO MY FACEBOOK & INSTAGRAM

I’ll be using the two social media sites to keep everyone up to date on what is going on during my four month No Heat Challenge which will take us into early 2014.  For now I’m just enjoying my new “online life”.

wash n go for length

My Staple Hair Products

As a follow-up to my No Heat Challenge video, I decided to let everyone know what hair products I’ll be using over the next few months.  It turns out that I feel the most comfortable sticking with what I know.  That brings us to what I would consider my “Staple” products.  These are the things that I keep coming back to after trying other products.  Sure, sometimes I like to change things up a bit, but right now I have this desire to just keep it simple.

MY YOUTUBE VIDEO ABOUT THE HAIR PRODUCTS 
I’LL BE USING FOR THE 
4 MONTH NO HEAT CHALLENGE

One thing I want to mention, that is not shown in the video, are my moisturizers.  I’m still in love with the Hollywood Beauty Olive Creme but I’m also using the Elasta QP Mango and Olive moisturizer.  Otherwise, everything else is in the video.  You can also take a look at what’s listed in the tab above named “Hair Regimen” to see some of the things I do on a weekly basis.

wash n go for length

My No Heat Blow Out

I’ve been straightening my natural hair nearly once each month ever since I went natural over three years ago.  I used to blowdry my hair every time but found that it made my straight hair feel dry.  I also felt like using two heat styling tools in one session was too much heat for my hair.  I decided to start using another method to dry my hair before using the flat iron while stretching it at the same time.

Air Drying
Basically, I let my hair air dry which takes longer but works great for me because my hair actually absorbs the product better.  My favorite method is to use ponytails with the ends two strand twisted.  This way the roots lay flatter and the hair dries in a smooth wavy pattern.  You can also use braids but I found that the twists dry quicker and serve the same purpose; stretch the hair while it dries.  Another favorite is to pull all of my hair back into a bun with the front and sides slicked back.  I’ll wear this as a style for a whole day and then at night, part it down the middle and do two french braids to help dry the center.

Brush it Out

Air drying overnight using ponytails with
two strand twists

The final step of the process is to take down the twists or braids and brush the hair out.  I like to use a paddle brush but a wide tooth comb also works.  I realize it’s considered a no-no to do this on dry hair but this is possible because of the products I use.  While my hair is still damp, I always apply a creamy leave-in conditioner, oil and a hair serum on each section.  This makes my hair soft enough to comb through once it is dry.

The Result
When my hair is dry and brushed out, it still looks just as big and stretched as a blowout.  It amazes me that so many naturals grab the blow dryer whenever they want to have stretched hair.  Sure the blowdryer is faster but why risk the damage?   Since I discovered how to do this it has become the method I use to stretch my hair everytime I want to straighten it or see some length.

I use a Creamy Leave-in Conditioner and Hair Serum
for dry hair soft enough to brush through

Wearing a bun all day gets the edges smooth
while drying