Doing my own hair (somewhat)

I’ve searched high, I’ve searched low – I can’t find any hair style that I like. I can’t find a natural hair care stylist who I trust to make me look my best. I don’t know why – in 2010 – it should be sooo hard to find a good natural hair care specialist.

I have a wonderful friend, Glenda, who owns a natural hair care salon in NC. If I was in NC I wouldn’t have this problem cause Glenda would be doing my hair. But that’s not the case, I live in the DC Metro area…

I decided it may be a better idea to do my hair myself. It’s not that hard and although I’m not that creative when it comes to hair, I don’t want a crazy complicated style. My fiance likes my hair down and to the side. I like my hair down. No one else’s opinion matters 🙂

I decided to do a short hair trial to see what I could do for myself. I’m going to have to do this again, though. Here are some pictures before I started:

I always start my hair by getting a fine tooth comb and scratching my scalp. I know that it’s not necessary for everyone but I LOVE the way it feels.

After I scratch my scalp, I get ready to wash. I usually do a co-wash but I am currently trying the new Rosemary Mint (?) shampoo and conditioner from Carol’s Daughter. The shampoo is rather thick and since I have dreads I decided it would be a great idea to dilute the shampoo. I squeeze a generous amount inside of one of those open tipped plastic bottles that are used for dying hair – you can get them at any beauty supply shop.

Supplies for Lock Maintainance & Styling

Supplies for Lock Maintainance & Styling

I use just enough hot water to “melt” the shampoo – then I saturate my scalp with the shampoo/water mix while my hair is still dry. It should be thick enough to keep from running into your eyes but watery enough that you can create a lather by rubbing the hair and scalp. I like to do this (I call it a dry shampoo) before wetting my entire head. This give me the opportunity to do a good scalp cleansing before I start my actual wash.

After I saturate my hair with my shampoo/water mixture, I wash my hair. After I wash (this time) I then conditioned my hair with the Rosemary Mint conditioner. This conditioner is pretty thick, too (though not quite as thick as I was expecting, considering the shampoo). Normally I dilute my conditioners, too.

Once my my wash and condition is complete (should have also done an ACV rinse, but I didn’t), I dried my hair, separating the individual locks. I used EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) to give myself a hot oil treatment (but I also like to use Carol’s Daughter’s Lisa’s Hair Elixer) and then I started to maintain my locks.

I have dry scalp, so I almost always oil my scalp prior to doing my maintainance. Currently I am using Taliah Waajid’s “The Strengthener” hair oil. It’s medicated, so it has a heavy scent and it tingles. Have to admit, I LOVE the tingle! 🙂 I use this hair oil on my entire scalp, then I proceed to palm rolling (Palm rolling is a method for tangling the roots of your dreads and helping them knot and tighten. It works much better than “twisting” with the fingers. To palm roll you simply grab the dread between the base of your palms – tightly by the root – and roll it in a single direction – I prefer counter-clockwise. It’s a bit like rolling Play-Doh between your palms to make a long rope. You are doing two things at once: tightening the root of your lock that has come unraveled and you are shaping the rest of that same dread into a cylinder shape. Palm rolling works well anytime but the best time to palm roll is right after washing/co-washing your dreads).

When doing maintainance, I always keep a few things on hand. One items is some type of oil based moisturizer lotion. I’ve used several different brands of several different things, but one of the ones I love best is Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk. I’ve used it off and on for years. Another great item that I like to keep on hand while doing my hair is a water based hair spray/detangler/leave in conditioner. I’m currently using Johnson & Johnson Maintainance for dreadlocks is really best done on moist or wet hair. Depending on how long it takes your hair to dry compared to how long it takes to do your hair will let you know if you need to re-wet your hair while completing maintainance.

Since this is a bridal hair style trial, I decided to set my hair in the manner in which I plan to wear it. Since it is over one shoulder to the side, that is exactly how I set it. I made sure that I palm rolled AND set my hair in that same direction.

Setting Hair - Front

The way I set my hair for this trial was what I call a wet “braid out.” I call it this because I set my hair while wet by braiding it. The “out” part comes because I take out the braids (simple, I know 🙂

Setting Hair - Profile 2


Setting Hair - Back

After I set my hair I usually do one of two things. I either let my hair dry naturally and leave the set in for 24-48 hours OR I sit under a hood dryer for 3-5 hours.

Once my hair is completely dry, I removed the braids.

Braid Out - Front

Braid Out - Front


The set worked VERY well, if I say so myself :-). I love the fact that the hair is slightly molded in a side position. One of the things I noticed, however, is that my hair doesn’t really want to stay that way. The weight of my hair makes it want to fall away from the one shoulder look. I held it in place with a few strategically placed hair pens.

Braid Out - Profile 2


While I think my hair has come out pretty nice – I’m also glad that my friend Glenda will be there on my big day to actually STYLE my hair!

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