Recycle Your Old Extensions! (Straight to Kinky/Curly)

Hello my Naturalistas!

This one is just for you,

Today I’m going to show you how to recycle your old extensions or change the curl pattern of straight-wavy hair to better blend with your own curl pattern.

When I had relaxed hair I experimented with wearing wigs and weaves, now I’m natural I still like to wear various types of extension but I prefer to wear textures that are closer to my own natural hair, not just because it looks better but it means that I don’t need to risk heat damage by flat-ironing my hair to blend with straight extensions.

If you have ever tried to buy good-quality Human hair kinky/curly extensions then you know how expensive they can be, the hair I currently have my eye on is over £250.00 not including p&p! Right now there is no way I’m spending that amount of money on some hair. So I decided to save some money and invest some time in converting a straight and wavy homemade U-part wig into a kinky curly wig.

My lovely friend Georgia made a U-part wig out of straight HH (Human Hair) weave but ran out of straight hair so added some wavy hair to complete the wig, unfortunately Georgia couldn’t achieve the colour match she wanted so she kindly donated the wig to me.

There are many ways you can steam perm extensions but my way is cheap but effective and does not require the use of any dangerous or smelly chemicals. This process is very easy but takes a little bit of time.

You will need:

  • Extensions – tracks, a bundle or a wig,  you can do this method with Synthetic hair but my instructions are for HH only.
  • A Very Large Saucepan or Pot with a lid. Pot should be large enough to accommodate all of your hair.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil or your hair oil of choice (not an expensive one!)
  • Conditioner
  • Perm Rods, Foil or both – I wanted a tight curl but in theory you could use rollers to create a looser curl
  • Water
  • Wide Toothed Comb
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First things first, put your hair on the perm rods or rollers, I refused to buy several packets of perm rods so I made “flexi rods” out of foil. I made my flexi rods by simply scrunching strips of foil into rod shapes , you can see one in the photo above on top of the box of foil.

Fill your large pot about 3/4 full with water and while you are rolling your hair you can set your water to boil.                                      Try to roll your hair using the same technique on each roller, because this was an experiment, I used different techniques to see which curl type I preferred.

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Once your hair is rolled and your water is boiling add a squeeze of conditioner -about 1 tablespoon & a few drops – 1 teaspoon of oil to your boiling water.

Next carefully submerge your hair in the pot reduce the heat to a simmer and put the lid on, your hair needs to gently boil for about 2 hours, make sure you check the pot regularly so that the hair is always covered with water, you should top your pot up –  if  necessary with boiling water from the kettle.

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After the time is up, very carefully remove your hair from the hot water I suggest using metal food tongs.                                     Do not let the water cool with the hair in it.

   Let the hot hair, air dry for at least 4 hours before removing your rollers.

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As you can see,  my curls did not come out evenly but I was expecting this.

Next you want to detangle and comb out your hair with a wide toothed comb. I slathered my hair with diluted conditioner, combed it out and then rinsed out the conditioner before leaving my hair to air dry over night.

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In order to blend this U-Part hair with my hair, I flat twisted my leave out and rolled the ends of my twist onto the same perm rods.

The next day, I put the wig on and then blended my hair with the wig.

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This technique is a home version of the industrial steam perming method which is often used to make Asian hair extensions mimic the texture of Kinky/Curly hair.  Please don’t be fooled by the term “Brazilian” hair this is still Asian hair that has been processed to alter the curl pattern, almost every brand of kinky/curly HH hair extensions you will purchase even the high end ones will be processed Asian hair.

The only time you are likely to see genuine virgin (unprocessed) kinky/curly extensions is on wigs that have been made from donated hair from charities such as Locks of Love. Reputable vendors will let you know the provenance of your extensions and if the hair has been chemically or steam processed.

If you have any questions about this technique, please feel free to ask them in the comments below.

Thanks for reading

Luv

Sian

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Darren Scott Salon, Visit 2 “Birthday Hair”- Perm Rod Set

Hello my Cakers Bakers and Beauties!

Sorry This post is late, I had a busy weekend! This Salon visit was actually before my birthday, in future I will try to make sure I post about events in chronological order.Image

On May 23rd I went back to Darren Scott Salon for a perm rod set, I wanted to have a lot of curls and volume since my own curl pattern is currently “lost”…

I had Kerri for my stylist again which was good but we didn’t do a treatment this time as I’d     pre-pooed with organic raw coconut oil the night before.

The treatment I would have had, is put on  before the hair is washed but it would have been a waste of time (and money) because my hair had soaked up the coconut oil over the preceding 20 hours or so and wouldn’t be able to take in much more product, if any at all  – and yes I went to work with the greasy coconut bun!

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“Greasy Coconut Bun”

The whole process was pretty straight forward but LONG… 

Kerri washed and conditioned my hair with Mizani products, she was very gentle and gives an amazing scalp massage!

My hair was detangled with the conditioner in and a wide-toothed comb, I had minimal tangles and hardly any breakage.

Then my hair was blotted with a (regular) towel a light moisturiser was put in then a light holding product I’m sorry I don’t have the names of these products, I will do better next time!

Next the perm rods were put in, they used a mixture of small and very small rods, most of them were put in on a slight angle, except the ones in my nape.

Kerri had help putting the rods in from another stylist I’ll call her Ms X, but after a little while Ms X had to finish work, once she had left, I told Kerri that the rods Ms X had put in were not tight enough and Kerri was happy to re do them, after about an hour Darren came back to the salon and helped Kerri finish putting the rods in, as they went along they re-moistened my hair as it had begun drying out.

I had mentioned to Ms X  that the rods were too loose but she explained that she couldn’t get them any tighter, I’m not holding it against her as she is a lovely person but I knew that on one side the roots would be puffy once we unrolled them, as I’ve done rod sets on my hair before and  the whole reason I was going to the salon to have it done, is because at home I can’t get the rods tight enough in the area just behind my crown.

However I’m not a professional stylist and everyone knows it is easier to work on the back of someone else’s head than your own. It doesn’t matter that much though because as I said Kerri was happy to re roll the loose ones and Darren helped.

Once all the rollers were in, I was put under the dryer.

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Head full of rollers!

I had prepared myself for the torture of being put under the dryer by bringing water and snacks and making sure my phone was fully charged to I could read my novel on my kindle app.

However all my preparation was still not enough! I do not have the patience and it was entirely too hot under there! It was a catch 22 situation I could have the dryer on a higher temperature and it will dry quicker but I will be uncomfortable or have the dryer on a lower temperature and stay under there longer, I actually tried a combination of both of these techniques but after about 2 hours it was all too much for me and I couldn’t bear it any longer!

The reasons why I went natural and why I stopped going to hairdressers all came back to me…

*At this point I’d like to mention that, Darren Scott Salon is in no way responsible for my lack of patience and no one forced me to have this done*

BUT still.. I was feeling awful, my back and neck were killing me as I was sitting in a kind of hunched position but leaning back at the same time. I know that sounds odd but imagine the salon chair is a stylish leather chair with a straight upright and chunky back section, and the dryer is positioned just slightly too far back from the back of the chair for you to sit upright in the chair with good posture and be under the dryer at the same time.

Couple that with the fact that the dryer was too low, or you could say I am too tall (5ft6″) or the chair was too high (but it couldn’t be lowered any further). I did let Kerri know that my body was in pain but due to the issues I just described nothing could be done physically about my position under the dryer.

The salon was empty except for Kerri and Me soI couldn’t even look around at what every one was having done. I was also under partial sensory deprivation as I couldn’t see hear anything except the incessant blowing of the dryer. I had lost interest in my novel (The Great Gatsby in case you were wondering) and the dogs were making friends with me…

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I’m not sure why they chose to sit and then later frolic so close to me. As I said before, the salon was empty so they had plenty of empty space in which to play and sniff around and engage in general doggy behaviour but maybe they came over to me because it was so warm over by me.

At one point the brown one decided to take a nap under my chair so my legs were also restricted as well as my back and neck. I also have a very sensitive sense of smell…                 I’m not saying they did their business in the salon at all, the salon is scrupulously clean I just happen to have a very sensitive nose and every living thing has a smell, even plants and animals and yes even me!

After 2 hours some of the middle rods were not dry but Kerri took pity on me and used a blow dryer to finish them off, at this time possible heat damage was not in my mind at all, I just wanted it to be finished!

The rods were unravelled once they were finally dry and then the separating and twirling began, they were only separated a little bit as the idea was for me to preserve the curls and fluff it out fully on the morning of my birthday. By this time Darren had come back to the salon and helped Kerri finish off the style.

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After I unrolled my spine and decompressed my vertebrae , my first thought was SHRINKAGE! Yes of course I was expecting shrinkage but maybe not this much… However I knew I was not in a fit state of mind at that point, to put it simply I was VEX!  But due to my good bringupsie (upbringing) I thanked them both politely, smiled, paid my money and bounced!

Well of course I didn’t bounce more like skulked off but you get the idea that basically I made my exit from the salon.

Once again I’m not holding the salon responsible for my lack of patience, Kerri even told me that another UK hair blogger (I won’t name her as she might not like me telling her business) sits under the dryer for this style for upwards of 3 hours!

Ms Anonymous UK Hair Blogger, I SALUTE YOU! From your photos you look even taller than me!

I also salute Kerri because it must have been a long and boring process for her too.

I paid £50.00 for the perm rod set and considering the time and work that goes into the whole process I think that’s very reasonable.

Would I do it again?

Well the short answer is Yes, but I would use a different curling method such as bendy rollers (flexi rods) or Curlformers and I would make the sections larger so more air could circulate around the curling tool and it would dry quicker, in fact maybe I would ask for my hair to be only damp before rolling it.

Would I go back to Darren Scott Salon again? 

ABSOLUTELY!

I’d had a long hard week at my day job so that also contributed to my general Vexosity (yes I’m making up words). Darren Scott Salon is the most professional salon I’ve been to, since I’ve been natural plus Darren and his staff are very friendly knowledgeable and well trained. Even though the Salon is on the other side of London I will be going back!

Thanks for reading!

Luv

Sian

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