Get popping curls all week long

If you follow me on social media you’ll notice that I can stretch my wash and go for as long as 7 days or even more sometimes . 

You may have also noticed that I can get 3rd and 4th day hair on day one. So let me break all this down for you and you to rock popping curls all week long.

Day 1

This is probably the most important day because the way you set your hair will determine the longevity of your style. We will focus on a wash and go, but you can get more information about how rock your twist-outs in this article. 

The basics for creating your wash and go is making sure it’s saturated with water, using the right leave-in or curl cream and then sealing all of that moisture in with a good gel or heavier curl defining cream. 

Now, the wash and go needs to be set and you can do this by using your hooded dryer, which is my method, diffusing it with a blow dryer or letting it air dry on its own. The trick is that before you manipulate it, it has to be completely dry, otherwise it will get frizz. And frizz is not the enemy, but we are trying to rock out do all week long. 

At night make sure you put your hair up in a pineapple and/or in a satin bonnet, and make sure you’re sleeping with a satin or silk pillowcase. You will repeat this part EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. 

Day 2 

We know our hair is completely dry and we can now manipulate it and give it the volume we desire. Here’s the thing, if you want big hair fast, you run the risk of not really having as much longevity. The more we manipulate our hair to make it big, the more we are breaking the cast of the gel, the more moisture we are removing from the hair and the more frizz we are causing. 

To create volume, you’re going to apply a teeny tiny bit of oil or hair butter, ideally a natural one to your hands. Using hair clips section your hair and you can open each curl to the desire volume. Then grab your blow dryer and remove the diffuser and blast it on high all around your hair to continue to open up your hair. Put both hands inside your hair and check it up. Finally, grab a hair pick and lift only at the root. I’ve illustrated this in this IGTV video.

For fine or loose curls, you can add an even smaller amount of oils to your hands, then break the cast by scrunching the hair. You can then blast it and pick the roots. 

Day 3-7

In the morning when you remove your pineapple and/or hair bonnet, grab your hair pick or your hands and stretch and fluff curls. 

If you’ve set your hair correctly the first night, then you’ll notice there really won’t be any need to rewet or reset hair. However, in case you do feel like there are a few stragglers, then grab a bit of the gel or cream you used and do a finger coil around that strand. 

Try these tricks out and let me know how it goes in the comments below. Feel free to add any of your own tips! ❤😉

A simple guide to understanding how natural oils work

One of the first products to which we are introduced when we begin in our process of transitioning to natural hair or healthier hair are natural oils. Learn how the make the most out of using them!

Carolina? What are natural oils good for?

Ahh … If my hair grew an inch for every time people asked me this question, I would have the longest mane in all the land.

One of the first products to which we are introduced when we begin in our process of transitioning to natural hair or healthier hair are natural oils from olive, coconut, grape seed, argan, jojoba and others.

Whichever of your choice, natural oils have a well-earned reputation for providing nourishment to hair and skin. They are usually used for their fragrance (essential oils) and healing properties, and have become one of the quintessential ingredients within the cosmetic industry.

That is why today we are going to share with you some ways to get the most out of those special and precious little bottles.

The many use we can give oils to our hair

The oils can be used to:

• Seal the moisture in the hair

• Scalp massages

• Protecting ends

• Hot oil treatments

• Promoting hair growth/length retention 

• Natural shine

What’s the best oil for my natural hair?

When used correctly, oils can provide many benefits, so we recommend the following tips when choosing the oil of your choice:

Investigate: the hair needs of your friend or sister, are not your hair needs, this means that what works for someone else will not necessarily work for you. Research, read, ask and try until you find the one that gives you what you are looking for.

Read the labels: This is important! Most oils sold in large department stores are not entirely natural oils but mixed with mineral oils, fragrances silicone and dyes that dry out and affect hair growth. 

Read reviews and support sustainably sourced oils: Now with the internet you can type in a brand and type of oil and get a bunch of information. I encourage you to get oils that are sustainably sourced.

Tips and tricks to put oils to work 

Okay, so you did your research and purchased your oils now what? To use the oils you can:

• Heat up some water, place oil in a container and heat the oil by placing the container in the hot water. This makes a great hot oil treatment

• Spread a little on your hands, and massage the scalp for about 3 to 5 minutes every other night, this will stimulate circulation and help stimulate hair growth 

• Add it to your favorite natural treatment for some extra slip 

• When you finish applying your favorite styling cream, put a little on your hands and apply it to the ends, just a few drops.

• Apply it the night before washing your hair as a pre-poo to prepare and protect the hair for the washing process

• Watch out for how much you use: Once upon a time there was a girl who got so excited about her new oils that she threw them into her shampoo, conditioner, and applied a ton after washing her hair! I promise it wasn’t me! LOL! Remember, everything in excess is bad, so a little goes a long way.

Right now I am using my own oil mix. My favorite oils are jojoba, argan, coconut, avocado, almonds, grapeseed, well almost all of them! I just discovered Monoi oil and I love it! I usually mix my oils with lavender and rosemary essential oils or when I want to feel a fresh and tingly feeling on my scalp, I mix in peppermint essential oil in it.

Remember oils are not moisturizing or hydrating because they are not made out of water. They seal in moisture and can give your hair shine and improve your overall hair health when used correctly. 

And you, what are your favorite oils and how do you use them? Let me know in the comments below. ✨

How to prepare for a visit at a curly salon

Now it’s no news to you, fellow reader that we have two beautiful salons, one in the Dominican Republic and one in Little Dominican Republic also known as Washington Heights New York. But I am not writing this just for our clients and potential clients, most of you actually don’t live near our salons. The purpose for writing this is to help you create the best experience possible during your next visit to a curly hair salon. Please feel free to add your own advice below in the comments. 

1. Bring pictures 

It’s important to provide your stylist with as much information as possible to achieve the look you want. Bring pictures of how you normally style your hair, ideas for cuts, and any other pictures you might find relevant.

2. Ask questions 

At least at our salons, and I suspect that in most other of them, stylist are eager to help you solve your hair issues. They want to help you manage your hair at home and fall in love with it, so make believe like you’re visiting the curly doctor and bring all the questions. Ask about routines, products, etc. 

3. Manage your expectations

A lot of clients share pictures with their stylist with women with other textures and hair types, begging them to achieve that exact look. This is not always possible and it’s important to manage these expectations.

4. Communicate with your stylist

It is so important to maintain a good communication with your stylist from the very beginning. Tell them how you like your styling results, little volume or lots of volume, as the shampoo girl to do more pressure or less pressure and ask the stylist to show you how much she will cut of your hair. At the end of the service let your stylist know how you feel. The feedback is so important. 

5. Relax and enjoy 

I know that this is a hard ask, but it’s the best way to enjoy your visit. Sit back and close your eyes during the shampoo and let go of whatever they day brought. 

Favorite cocktails for natural hair

I’m a rule-breaker at heart. You give me guidelines for X or Y and I am already thinking how to hijack the process.

I know that some products have been designed to work together (or at least that is what we have been told to continue to purchase them), but when I am doing my hair I become a barista for my curls, coming up with all kinds of mixes and concoctions to spice up my hair routine. 

After ten years as a natural hair junkie here are some ‘‘cocktails’’ I can recommend to you in case you’re feeling creative like me: 

My to go combo

Hereby I introduce you to my OG since 2011. This is combination has given me hit after hit for almost ten years, and that’s way more than what some of my past relationships can say.

Curl Enhancing Smoothie by Shea Moisture + Kinky Curly’s Knot Today

The hydration provided by the Knot Today, along with the fact that you can dilute this baby by splitting it in two equal parts and filling the rest of the bottle with water, makes it a great investment, even if this leave in conditioner starts at US$13; you’re still ‘technically’ getting two bottles for the price of one. 

On the other hand, Shea Moisture’s Curl Enhancing Smoothie’s thick and oily texture will give you all the moisture you seek, with all-natural ingredients and at a very affordable price.

The result? Bouncy curls with some nice shine to them. A little bit goes a long way especially while the hair is wet, so go ahead and give this combo a try. 

Volume for days

•     Jelly-Soft Curls, by Miss Jessie’s + Trader Joe’s Organic Coconut oil 

If you seek and enjoy a product that will give you style and volume, then you should be looking into the Jelly-Soft Curls by Miss Jessies. 

Although due to pricing and election of ingredients, I am not an avid fan of this brand, I keep coming back to this particular product. What do I get? Great volume and no frizz for a good few days.

We'll show you some combos that your hair will love and will allow you to save some money on the long run.

I do not know about you, but I am not a fan of the ‘‘gel cast’’ curls, and the best way to fight this effect while keeping your hair moisturized is by adding some oil towards the end of your styling routine, and if you’re not on a personal vendetta against coconut, then I greatly encourage you to try Trader Joe’s Coconut Oil.

Pros: it will last you for a long time, at 16 ounces, I am not mad at how long I can stretch this product for. At US$15 is definitely worth the splurge. 

Hear me out: I understand that some of these products are not inherently ‘‘cheap’’, and that in good Dominican: ‘‘porqué hay que hacerlo difícil, si lo podemos hacer fácil’’ / ‘‘why make it hard, if we can make it easy’’, but I have a point here.

The natural hair market is saturated with options for all kinds of tresses, it’s like if these major companies suddenly realized that we love taking care of our hair and decided to start catering to our demands (watch here for the word demands, rather than needs). 

Benefits of wisely investing on your natural hair products

Just because you found an affordable product, does not mean this product will be good for your hair, the same way in that just because you found an expensive product it means that it will ‘‘save’’ your hair.

It does not work like that. As you continue to purchase whatever products you feel that fulfill your needs, I invite you to reflect upon the following: 

•     Am I buying twice: this means, am I buying an imitation of what I actually need now instead of, within my reasonable means, waiting a bit and investing in something that I know will not damage or dry my hair out in the long term.

•    Am I following the hype train instead of reading the labels: social media and the natural hair community can easily make you believe that you need certain things when you do not.

That’s just the way marketing works, and while there is nothing more exciting than trying a new product, just think about the disappointment of purchasing something you’ll eventually have to give away. 

•   Who am I giving my money to? I believe in conscious consumption, this means, knowing which companies I am supporting; are these black-owned companies? Or do they have sustainable practices in the development of their products? Do I align with their values or are they just selling this product because they just realized about the big business of investing in our kinks and curls? 

These are all interesting questions to reflect upon the next time you decide to purchase some new products or come up with your own cocktails. 

What’s your favorite curly cocktail? Surprise me! 

What to expect when you are transitioning

Man, I can never write enough about this subject because let’s face it, many women are new to this world and many of us experienced something that sets us back to step 1. So let’s go back to basics and talk about what is transitioning, what to do and what to expect. 

Let’s cover the basics first. I know it’s tough to hear that you’re transitioning, but it’s important to call it what it is in order to know how to care for your hair properly. I’ve encountered literally thousands of women who are transitioning, but swear their hair really does curl. When you don’t recognize that your hair is in fact damaged, then you won’t know the correct measures to take. 

So then how do you know if you’re transitioning you may ask. Is the hair at the root really coily or curly and the ends are straight? Did you submit your hair to high heat, chemicals or a magical salon process (keratin, botox etc.)??? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then you are indeed transitioning. 

Some of you may already know this, but again, A LOT of you are in complete denial and we get it. Transitioned hair is almost impossible to revert back to curly and so this means that the hair needs to be cut and to many that ish is scary.

But don’t worry, I got you! Let’s look at what to do next. 

1. Start

This may seem so obvious, but it’s important to make the commitment. If you’re going to transition, you have to stop doing that same thing that got you here. This means no heat, no chemicals, and no weird potions to change your hair texture. See this as a very exciting decision because it is. It is the start to a new awesome journey of discovering your beautiful curls and learning how to love your hair.

2. Get equipped

It’s important to get the right tools and products when you start so that you feel like you’ll have options throughout the transition.  I recommend a good deep conditioner (I love the Deep Fix by CurlJunkie and Stellar Strand by Kinky Curly), perm/flexi rods, leave-in and hair creams (I used Knot Today by Kinky-Curly), paddle or denman brush, hair dryer and/or diffuser, and a good gel (I love eco styler). Having all the right tools will help you style your hair and nourish it as it grows. 

3. Don’t listen to the naysayers

During this process you might find people who will criticize your decision, call you ugly, or even crazy. It’s so important to stay the course and understand your WHY. You got this!

Now these are just a few of the many tips we will be sharing on here! Feel free to add yours below. 

5 tips to rock your twist this winter

Brrr it’s cold in here…y’all know how the song goes! No, but seriously it’s so cold in the northeast! This is the perfect season for protective styles and we’ve noticed that a lot of you have been rocking twists and twist-outs. So, I wanted to quickly review some general tips when it comes to this particular style.

1. Make sure you’re using the right products

I use different products for my twists depending on how I want the results. If I want  twists that kinda sort of looks like a wash and go, then I will use a light leave-in and a gel and do the steps as if I were doing a regular w&g before I start twisting. If I want more volume, fluffiness and for the texture to look like the twists, then I use a cream and a lighter gel. 

2. Make them the right size for desired look

Here’s the twist rule: the bigger the twist the more volume and the smaller the twist the less volume you’ll get. So if you know how you want to rock your twist-out, make sure you’re twisting your hair with the right amount of hair. 

For the ends, just finger coil your hair and it won’t become undone. However, if your hair is a looser texture, you might want to put a rubber band or a perm rod to hold the end. Remember to also section the hair the way you want to wear it once the twists are out. If you wait until the hair is dry to section it, you’ll cause a bunch of unwanted frizz. 

3. Wear your twists for a few days

I always recommend wearing twists for a few days. This will allow them to fully dry and will keep your hair safely tucked away and protected for a bit. There are various styles you can rock with your twists like buns, updos, and more. You also extend your wash day this way by wearing twists for like a week and then wearing them out for another few days before washing hair. 

4. Use butters or oils to untwist 

When removing your twists, remember to wear a bit of oils or butter (ideally natural ones) on your hands as you’re untwisting the hair. This will help to avoid frizzing up the hair as you manipulate it. The more you open up the twists the more volume you will have, the less you open them the less volume. 

5. Use your bonnets or satin pillowcases

If you want the style to last, you’ll want to make sure that you’re taking care of it at night. You can do a few things like put it up in a pineapple if your hair is as long as mines. You can also retwist it in bigger twists to save time or you can actually put your hair in a few buns to stretch the hair out for a different look. Don’t forget to go back to step #4 when manipulating your hair. 

If you use any of these tips don’t forget to tag me @miss_rizos and #missrizos! Also check out this IGTV I did, showing you how to untwist and style your twists!