Thursday, 18 October 2012

Stretch Your Hair...With Thread?

   One of the most difficult tasks we encounter as naturals and transitioners is stretching our hair. It may be time consuming, costly or even damaging to our tresses. Although there are many options to stretch our hair, I would like to highlight one option that is arguably one of the best methods; the African Hair Threading Technique. I use this technique to get the “blow out look,” prepare my hair for flat ironing, straighten it before molding it into a certain style, and even to create a protective style with the thread.

   As a child, my mother would sit me down and stretch my hair with thread. She would use water, a pomade and regular thread that she would fortify by overlapping it. The water was to moisturize and the pomade was designed to seal. Today’s alternative would be to M&S with our favorite products. She would do intricate, traditional designs with the thread or she would just stretch it to make my hair more manageable.

   The technique is very simple. All you have to do is get a section of hair, moisturize it, seal the hair and then thread it. I use weaving thread to do this. If the section is small, then M&S a large area before you begin threading in small sections to save time. To thread the hair, you must do the following:

     1. Wrap the thread around the base of your hair approximately five times. This will secure the thread. Do not do this tightly, just enough to stretch the hair at the base.
     2. Start wrapping downward; toward the ends of your hair. You can wrap tightly of loosely.
     3. Once you get to the end, begin wrapping upwards for approximately 2-3 inches then wrap going back down so that your hair is secured. That way, your hair will unravel easily. I know that many people knot the thread, but do not knot the thread at the ends. This can cause damage during removal.

        This technique saved my life when I was transitioning to natural hair. It may not be easy to get the hang of, but practice makes perfect so put your blow dryer and hair bands down and pick up some very cheap weaving thread. Bear in mind that you should be gentle with your hair. If it hurts, you are pulling too tightly. Feel free to look at the following videos for inspiration and a closer look at the technique.  

     Transitioning Hairstyle:
     AHT ponytail with extensions:
     AHT band in the front and extensions in the back:

Monday, 15 October 2012

Fun During Fall Fro Fashion Week

This September I had the pleasure of going to the Fall Fro Fashion Week in downtown Atlanta, a Natural hair and beauty event that spawned a weekend filled with natural beauty and lifestyle workshops, lots of product shopping, and tons of natural hair schmoozing! Now in it's fourth year, the Fall Fro Fashion Week event had a theme of Glitz and Glam, complete with a red carpet that led into the the product arena where attendees could shop in an intimate setting where eight hand-selected vendors were chosen to show off there handcrafted hair and body products, jewelry, and accessories.

Some examples of the lovely vendors that there were in attendance were wonderfully whipped and heavenly scented hair and body butters created by none other than the lovely tastiredbone from YouTube! Her company, Tasti Kiss Essentials, had scents of Cherry Almond, Pineapple, Pink Sugar, and a variety of other yummy smells wafting around the arena (P.S.-She just released her I Heart Mango Butter in the Pumpkin scent for the month of October,  I had the chance to preview it, and it smells amazing and scrumptious, the perfect Fall sealant as the temperatures continue to dip!).  Also, a unique concept I have never seen at a natural hair event revolved around the company, Luxor Couture, and their unique concept of a Earring Bar, where you could make and customize your own earrings with a variety of brightly hued beads, silver, gold, and wooden accents. She had gorgeous feather earrings also that were definitely calling my name! The product junkie in me was also pleased to meet Taiza, the owner of HoneyChileHairLove, and I can't wait to try her Lush Curl Custard, Avocado Truffle Hair Milk, and the many other yummy sounding products I purchased from her in the coming weeks. 

There were also very interesting workshops that I was able to attend, such as the D.I.Y: Women Do Everything segment, that gave tips on how to change the oil in your car, how to make minor repairs around your house, and also how to check the wiring in your home, all things that could come really handy when you least expect it! There were also workshops on How to Look Great on a Budget, Protective Styling, a Blogger Luncheon, and a Curl Talk co-hosted by the owner of Jessicurl, Jessie McGuinty. All in a very informative and intimate setting, which allowed tons of insightful questions from the many beautifully coiffed naturals in attendance.

The evening of Saturday culminated in Penthouse party on the top floor of the Melia Hotel which hosted the Fro Fashion Week Event, here is a pic of us all glammed up for the event:

Although I made the long 13-hour trip back home early Sunday morning, CurlyGirlJess from YouTube filled me in on the festivities of Sunday, which included another day of shopping at the vendor's arena, a Curls Unleashed Focus Group, and the highly-anticipated Fashion Show, which showed off local fashion's from Atlanta-based designers as well as honored the eight unique and incredibly talented vendors that were in attendance.

Overall, I had a great time at the event! The best part by far was spending time with my girls, tastiredbone and CurlyGirlJess. Events like this bring women together with the common interest and love of natural hair, and foster great friendships that go beyond that! Check out the vlog CurlyGirlJess made of our adventure in ATL right here. If you haven't been to a natural hair event yet I highly encourage it, you'll have a great time meeting and mingling fellow naturals! I'm already planning my trip to the World Natural Hair Show in April 2013 :) See you next month ladies!

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