Category Archives: Hair

My Free Twist-Out

I won a free twist out hairstyle today. Great timing too because I wanted to blow dry my hair and wear a twist out on dry hair.
The night before I was scrolling thru my Instagram feed and saw this.


Nappstar is a natural hair salon. The owners and stylists of Nappstar are two sisters in Maryland. I had been to Nappstar several times before and was always happy with my results. So I called and got the 10am appointment.

They moved their salon to a new location a while ago were looking to find additional natural hair stylists to work with them in their salon. In order to evaluate the potential stylists’ abilities and skills, they issued a call for anyone with natural hair to be the test “dummies” for lack of a better word.  I believe they had 4 female stylist to work on 4 ‘model clients’. Two clients had natural hair and the other two had locs. (I don’t like the term “dread” locs, so you won’t see/hear me use it too much).  They rotated the stylists between twisting and styling the locs and natural hair clients to test their skills.  My twist out was done in flat twists in a star pattern (think bicycle wheel with the spokes coming from the center).

The process for me from wash to twist out, including the blow dry and time spent under the dryer was about 2.5 hours.  The outcome was decent and more importantly it was free.  I will say that I would probably never go there for a twist out in general. Not because they wouldn’t do a good job, but typically I do my own twist outs and twist outs for me don’t last long enough for me to shell out that kind of cash for a very temporary  style. But for anything else I’d definitely recommend these sisters.

I must admit that I have visited the Miss Jessie’s Salon in SoHo- New York City, and received a twist out. Maybe I’ll blog about that later. I will say I was very pleased with my results and it lasted at least two weeks. BUT the twist out at Miss Jessie’s was an individual two-strand twists that had great hold because of the product, causing the twist out to be super defined and long-lasting.

New Hair Color March 2013

For the last few months I’ve been itching to get my hair dyed. I was pretty set on getting my hair dyed a fierce red like Toni from MyNaturalSistas. I love that color on her and was looking forward to getting mine a similar hue. That was until I saw a beautiful natural hair girl with a really awesome shade of blond rocking a puff.  That threw a monkey-wrench in my whole plan, because I couldn’t decide which color to choose.

I got the bright idea that I would do both colors, a subtle honey blond in the front/top and the fierce red in the back. I really thought this would be a great combination.  After talking to a friend of mine I decided to go to the salon she frequents in the DMV to get my hair colored.

I read a bunch of reviews online before committing and making an appointment. And finally the day had come. I arrived at the salon and once I was seen I explained to the ‘junior colorist” what I wanted. She told me that the two colors I wanted didn’t go together according to the color wheel.

It’s been about a year to the day that I got my last color highlights applied to my hair.  I have been itching to update my hair’s color with something really bold and fun for the spring and summer. So after discussing my hair color goals and desires with the stylist, we agreed on the final colors.

I took pictures during the whole process.  She used three different colors on my hair. I have two different color highlights in the front and top of my hair. And a light brown in the back of my hair.
After sitting with the color on my hair for a little bit, it was rinsed out. She was excited and happy about how the color came out. She told me she would be toning all of my color down a bit, using a toner. And commented that it looked very much like the NFL football team the Washington Redskins’ team color, because of the reddish and goldish hues.

hair highlight blow dry

Anyway, consulting with the “senior colorist” they agreed to tone the color down just a bit which would also help the colors compliment each other better. After the final rinse she proceeded to blow dry my hair straight.

After it was dry she proceeded to flat iron it. I informed her that I wanted curls instead of wearing it straight. By this time I had already paid for my service which included the color ($90) and the style ($50). Because it was about 8pm and the receptionist was packing up to leave.  I guess she realized that I was in need of trim and told me that she was going to just trim it. (Meaning that she wasn’t going to charge me for the trim).  And assured me that she knew the difference between a trim and a cut.

I should have just objected because you can’t trust a lot of hair stylists with scissors in their hands. Many don’t know the difference between a cut and a trim. And since she’s not my normal hair stylist I was already a bit nervous about whether I’d leave there with a cut versus a true trim.

As I suspected, I saw strands longer than an inch falling to styling drape. At that point is already to late to right that wrong. Unless you want short and uneven hair. She finished the trim (ahem…I mean cut) and then tried to go back and even it all the way around. Now I knew I was screwed. She knew that I was taking photos of the whole process and because of that was worried that her work would be questioned if my strands weren’t perfectly even.

befoe and after clor

Granted, I needed  a trim but my normal hair dresser does a great job of giving me an actual trim. And never again will I allow someone I’m not comfortable with to give me a trim.  This may not be the best proof of how much was actually cut, since the left side is the result of a blow out on natural hair and the right is flat ironed and trimmed. But hopefully you see the difference.

I guess if what I wanted was color, I got it. But ultimately, it wasn’t the color I really wanted.  I think she did a good job with the application of the color and highlights. And perhaps if I needed to I could return for future color processing. But I would save the styling and definitely any cutting for my trusted regular hair stylist.

quad hair


My Beauty School Highlights

In April 2012 , about a year ago, I got my hair highlighted.  I went to a beauty school and was really pleased with the turnout

In this picture, taken about 8 months after it had been highlighted, you can see my hair straightened and some of my highlights.


Here’s a better view of my hair from September 2012 (about 5 months after I got it highlighted), This is the work of my main hair stylist. The before picture on the left is my hair freshly washed, the middle picture is blown dry and the last is a shot of  the left side of my hair flat ironed.

photo hair Erin

I must note that I didn’t experience any damage or breakage due to the color and my hair was lightened without the use of bleach.

Why go to a beginner or someone learning how to perform  such a permanent process?

Some might say “Why go to a beginner or someone learning how to perform  such a permanent process?  But my reasoning was that there is a skilled instructor overseeing the whole process. Someone who’s job it is to teach the proper technique to eager students. The trainer for my student stylist oversaw the process and and I felt that my stylist was pretty confident. So as previously stated I was happy with the outcome and the price and didn’t have any complaints.

No Lye, the Last Relaxer

On 21 April 2009 I had my last relaxer. I had just come out of microbraids and was surprised at the amount of length I had retained after just the five or six weeks. I don’t remember what exactly happened that made me decide that I wanted to go natural. However, this was my second attempt, as I had tried to go natural the previous year for about 10 months. Here is a photo of my hair about a month after my last relaxer in late- May 2009.

relaxed hair curls

This picture was taken in August 2009 about 4 months after my last relaxer.

8-12-09 flat iron     Anyway, I transitioned from relaxed to natural, and around March of 2011, I cut about one inch of the remaining relaxed ends off my hair.  I was officially a natural hair girl.

I started experimenting with more natural styles and having some fun rocking puffs, and bantu knot outs. At this point I had become grossly addicted to hair care forums, I was learning a ton and quickly becoming a product junkie.  I knew there were lots of videos on YouTube, but for some reason at this time I found the forums and webpages I could read, more helpful than watching someone do their hair.

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