Holiday Hair – Part One

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.

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Loose Afro Ibiza July 2012

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Afro Puff Ibiza July 2012 

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.

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My last ever Kinky Twists Egypt September 19th 2012.

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My last ever Kinky Twists Egypt September 19th 2012

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:

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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.

FYI Relaxers have a pH of 10 -14!

FYI Relaxers have a pH of 10 -14!

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.

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This is the brand of ACV I use.

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.

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Freshly Finished Twists!

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!

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Thanks for reading!

Luv

Sian

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6 thoughts on “Holiday Hair – Part One

  1. Pingback: Havana Twists | hot beauty hair extensions

  2. Hi Sian,

    Please can you tell me if you rinse the ACV out of the hair before you dry it? Is there a smell left in the hair?

    The itching I have experienced due to extensions/weaves really affects me in a big way. I don’t sleep well and I’m itching constantly.

    Also, I haven’t had a pick and drop style since being natural. I can’t imagine how my very thick and course afro hair will blend in with the synthetic hair. The lady that asked to do it said she may have to ‘press’ the ends of my hair but I’m really not sure I want to do that.

    What do you think?

    Thanks

    Michelle

    Michelle

  3. Hi Sian,

    Do you need to rinse the ACV out of the hair before putting it out to dry? Does it leave any kind of smell?

    I itch constantly with extensions and weaves and don’t sleep very well at all.

    I know exactly what you mean about afro kinky twists. I’ve gone off them too!

    Also, because my natural hair is very frizzy, especially at the ends, I’ve been told I may need to have my hair pressed in order for it to blend in with the pick and drop hair. I’m not sure how I feel about that. What do you think?

    Thanks

    Michelle

    • Hi Michelle,

      Thanks for reading my blog and your question.

      You don’t HAVE to rinse the ACV out of the hair before putting it out to dry it’s personal choice really.
      The concentration of ACV in the water means that it will not smell when it dries.
      It seems like you also have a reaction to the alkaline chemicals they put on hair, try the ACV cleasning method next time you install extra hair hopefully that helps with the itching, but also make sure the hair is not installed too tightly as that could cause itching too as your hairs are slowly being ripped out of their follicles.

      Please don’t let the stylist press your hair for a pick and drop hairstyle it might look good on the day but it will mean that as soon as you come into contact with any humidity or moisturise your hair with water/a water based product your ends will revert.
      To get around the “blending” issue, have the stylist “drop” the braid AFTER the end of your natural hair, this might mean that your braids end up being quite long depending on the length of your natural hair. I always have the hair dropped after the end of my own hair not just because of blending but because someone tying a small knot in or around your precious hair is never a good idea. Lastly you might want to consider using more textured extensions instead of straight hair.

      Thanks
      Sian

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