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!)
- Perm Rods, Foil or both – I wanted a tight curl but in theory you could use rollers to create a looser curl
- Wide Toothed Comb
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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