Hello my Cakers, Bakers and Beauties!
I have been back from the Dominican Republic about 4 weeks now, typical me I was supposed to post this ages ago but I got caught up in life and have been dragging my feet. I know I post about all sorts of things and so I’m sorry if you’re here for cake stuff or book stuff this is a hair post so feel free to ignore this one, I promise I won’t feel bad.
I decided to do a protective style for my holiday as I knew I’d be swimming daily and I didn’t want to be manipulating my strands too much. I have been on holiday with my natural hair loose but honestly on that trip (Ibiza July 2012) I didn’t swim as much as I wanted to because of my hair, that is really a poor excuse not to exercise and not to fully enjoy my holiday.
I didn’t want to do kinky twists because the hair is too rough for me, I don’t really like the look of them on me any more, everyone and their Mama has kinky twists and last time I got kinky twists they were really itchy and irritated me, I have tried different brands of hair and soaking the hair in ACV but kinky twists are not for me. I would try Havana twists though, they look a bit softer and seem like they would suit me more.
I have nothing against Kinky Twists on others but for me this time, I wanted something different. I decided to get something similar to pick and drop braids, but I wanted twists instead of braids and I wanted them to be sealed off and “dropped” a centimetre or so AFTER the ends of my natural hair, that meant that my twists had to be quite long. I also wanted my twists to be layered and curly so that they had some interest and movement. I searched the internet for braiding hair with the type of curl I wanted, which was a loose ringlet texture, I came across Aftress Fingeroll Hair:
I bought 6 packets of this hair at £2.99 each (what a bargain!) Unfortunately the shop didn’t have a lot of this hair left in stock so I had to mix and match with colours I had two packets in 1B/30, two in 1B/33 and two in colour 2. At that price obviously the hair was synthetic and manufacturers coat synthetic hair and cheaper human hair with a chemical base which is quite alkaline, this coating makes the hair look smoother and silkier in the packet and provides a level of heat and water resistance to the hair.
However as human beings our skin including our scalp has a pH level of around 5 which is acidic, this is natural and protects us because it is harder for germs to thrive in an acidic environment. The alkaline coating on the hair often causes an allergic reaction, which is why so often when we have extensions or weave installed it is itchy and irritating.
There is a relatively easy way to remove this alkaline coating which is to soak the hair in a slightly acidic solution of water and Apple Cider Vinegar, I don’t have specific measurements but I used a big plastic box because I had so much hair and I wanted the hair to be able to lay flat in the bottom of the box and not tangle and twist around itself. I filled the box about halfway up with hot water from the tap and added about a cup (6 tablespoons-ish) of ACV.
I removed the hair from the cardboard backing but left the gold “thread” that bundles the hair together in place, I gently placed all of the hair in the water/acv solution one by one and made sure they were not wrapped around each other. I left the hair in the solution overnight and when I came back in the morning there was an oily looking murky film floating on top of the water, that film let me know that the ACV had done it’s work and removed the alkaline coating from my extensions. You do not have to leave your hair in the solution over night, once you see the film on the surface of the water you can then rinse your extensions with cool/cold water and lay them flat to dry. Before you remove your extensions from the water you can gently detangle them (if needed) with your fingers or a large toothed comb, it’s much easier to do this while the hair is fully submerged under the water. Remember to remove your extensions from the water by holding them at top of the bundle or weft. I let my hair dry flat outside on a dinner tray that had a towel under the hair and folded over the top of the hair (imagine the hair is in a sleeping bag which is made from your towel.) Once again I made sure that all the hair was laid out straight and in one layer.
It took about 4 hours for my twists to be installed and I used 5.5 packets of hair, the root of each twist was braided for about a couple of centimetres first before being turned into a twist. It is possible for twists to be installed without the braided root but because of my hair texture I always prefer for the root to be braided first even when I’m doing two strand twist without extensions. I prefer the braided root because it keeps the twists neater for longer and doesn’t require my roots to be twisted and twined so tightly in order to keep the base of the twist tight, in addition the braided root gives the twist a stronger anchor as the hair can easily slip out.
To reduce the risk of Traction Alopecia, (which is one of the most common causes of hair loss in Black women) when installing “extra” hair make sure that you do not put in too much extension for every section of your own hair that’s braided/twisted. If your head feels heavy when it’s finished, then it is a sign that you have too much extra hair on your head, try and use a smaller bunch of extensions and a larger section of your own hair for each braid/twist, your finished section may not look as thick and full but your own hair will thank you for it, the same principle applies with weaves. It is especially important not to add too much hair if you plan to swim and do water-sports as the hair will be even heavier when wet.
Here are a few photos of me enjoying my Twists in the Dominican Republic!
Thanks for reading!