HOW TO PREPARE YOUR NATURAL HAIR FOR A SPECIAL EVENT

By Hadassah Agbaps - November 16, 2013

Hi people, what's been on?

These 'ember' months are usually full of social events such as office dinners, weddings, family parties, Christmas parties, red carpet events and so on.
This is a really good opportunity to get your natural glam on and do something different from your daily buns and twists especially if that event is your wedding day!

Styling your natural hair for your wedding day doesn't mean you don't need to pamper your hair as you'll pamper your skin...
You're definitely going to go to the spa, get your mani and pedi....so why not treat your natural hair too?!
Before your big day, make sure your hair is ubermoisturised. When your hair is properly moisturised, it will hold styles well, be more defined and won't frizz up easily. No one wants frizzy hair on their wedding day....or any important event for that matter!

P.S. Even though I mention 'wedding'....feel free to slot in any major event you need to get prepped up for!


PRE WEDDING HAIR CARE

1. Snip off any split ends. Cleanse your hair and scalp with a moisturising creamy cleanser. Another moisturising option for cleansing your hair is using a cleansing mask such as Bentonite or Rhasshoul clay...

2. Follow up the cleansing with a deep conditioning mask to hydrate your hair. This is a time to treat whatever hair issues you have with your hair.
Incorporate the necessary oils, herbs and natural products into the deep conditioning mask. It's your wedding, make sure you use the best. Don't skimp on quality.

3. Follow up the deep conditioning with a hair and scalp massage using stimulating and moisturising oils to trap in moisture within the cortex of the hair.
If properly done, your hair should be soft, silky with well hydrated coils.


STYLING

I usually advice that, just as you'll have a wedding rehearsal, makeup rehearsal, cake tasting and all to make sure everything is as perfect as possible on your big day, it's important to have a natural hair styling rehearsal to make sure your hair is perfect too!
This should be done about a week before your wedding day.

You and your stylist should work together to choose three hairstyles. One for any pre wedding party, one for your big day and one for your honeymoon. Don't forget to factor in hair accessories such as veils, beads and pins when choosing your hairstyle.

I believe more thought should be put into styling your natural hair for your wedding than the ole bun and twists or whatever hairstyle you rock daily!
 This is a good opportunity to try out intricate hairstyles that you wouldn't rock daily because of the time and effort you'll need.
These tips are directed at those naturalistas who want to style their hair without extensions.


NATURAL HAIRSTYLING TIPS

1. Twistouts/braidouts/bantu knotouts
Well done twist out
I advice against twistouts,braidouts or Bantu knot outs especially if your hair is not well conditioned beforehand. This is because these styles can be unpredictable depending on your hair type, the weather and the methods and products used by your stylist.

That being said you can still rock head turning twistouts, braidouts or bantu knotouts on your day.
Make sure your hair is well moisturised so it won't absorb moisture from the atmosphere.
Bantu knots updo


Try out the style a week before your wedding to know if the style will keep. (To keep it a surprise, don't tell anyone you're considering twistouts for your wedding...*wink*).
Personally, the best, more stable twistouts are gotten from twists not more than twice the diameter of your coil. Simply put, the tighter your coils/coils....the smaller your starting twists/braids should be.
Same goes for bantu knotouts.

Twistout on shorter hair

Also, try incorporating a soft but firm hold gel mixed with a styling butter into the twists.
Use a little amount for each twist or else you'll have to deal with crunchy dull looking twistout/braidouts. I'm sure you'll want your styled curls to be soft to touch with good movement!
Avoid alcohol based setting sprays or gels!
They cause frizz and poofs in curly hair.

Twistout updo.
Source: http://www.going-natural.com/

2. Big Daddy Blowouts
Blowout
If you decide to go for a blowout on your big day, you'll need a good anti humecant serum to prevent
your hair from reverting back to curls!

You might want a blowout to show off the length of your hair.
To be on the safe side, do not rock a blowout as is...try styling it into an intricate do instead, that will also show off your length!
Don't forget to use your heat protector. To reduce damage, stretch hair first using a wide tooth comb before using a boar bristle round brush.

Example of an updo from a blowout


3. Roller sets ( Strawsets, Curlformers, perm rod sets)

In my experience, roller sets last longer and are more stable if you want to glam up your coils!
The number one tip to nailing these sets are to make smaller, thinner sections. That way it'll dry all the way round. If the hair isn't thoroughly dry, your  curls can fall and poof up!

Rollerset on medium length natural hair


Flexirod sets on natural hair. The thinner your sections, the more stable your curls and the faster it will dry.
Another tip is to set the dryer on medium heat and just before the hair is completely dry, get out of the dryer to either airdry the rest of the way or blowdry using cool setting. It helps set the curls and reduce the risk of dehydrating the hair.

Straw set on natural hair. This style works really well for transitioners and helps create uniform curls
Also instead of setting lotion which can dry out your hair leaving you with crunchy results, use a
moisturizing mousse or styling serum.

I've not tried out Curlformers on Nigerian natural hair. If you have, please do share your experiences in the comments section.
I included it in the list because I love the results as posted by bloggers and vlogger with similar hairtypes and the curls formed seem stable.

4. Intricate braids, flat twists and twists

The best bet for long lasting stable hairstyles on your wedding day is working with your own individual texture.
This beautiful bride is working with her natural hair texture
Source: thelingerieaddict.com

Braids a great way to spice up your natural hair and what's more, it can last all through your honeymoon! Look for intricate designs you can switch up so you can have different looks for your pics.

This site braidwithme.blogspot.com is a good source of elaborate braids 

Minitwists arranged in a beautiful updo
My favorite is the half braided look where you braid patterns in the front or in form of a mohawk and leave free hair to curl up or blowout or leave as a super defined fro!

Partially braided mohawk
5. Fingerstyling

This is another beautiful way to style your hair and involves working with your texture.
 If your hair is shorter, you can rock a wash n go and finger coil any frizzy undefined bits.

 You can also do smaller fingercoils to give you tiny ringlets or make bigger fingercoils which when dry, you can separate into fluffy ringlets.

Fingercoils/comb coils on natural hair. Typical results.

Fingerstyled shorter hair
Another finger styling method is shingling. I absolutely love shingling and it works really well with
longer hair!


This picture gotten from chocolatehairvanillacare.com shows typical results from shingling. The shorter part is the unshingled hair and the longer part is the shingled hair. It works really well for hair with noticeable coils when wet. 
If you have a TWA, you can define your coils using fingers and rubbing gently in a circular motion. You can also achieve the same results using the sponge method.

Coils on TWA via the sponge method or circular method
Extra Teeny Weeny Fro.

 6. Locs
I love locs especially when they are neat and small. There are beautiful ways to style your locs just make sure you don't pull too tight, your roots are neat (have them re-tightened if necessary) and the bobby pins you use to hold the style in place are smooth and won't snag your hair.



Beautiful loc'd updo


 So, those are some of my tips for glamorous natural hairstyling for that major event!

Till I spill again,
Live Beautifully. Naturally.
Hadassah A.








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