Rockin’ BIG HAIR: Protecting the Poof / Maintaining Defined Curls (2012 Update)


Last year I posted about how we maintain our defined curly fros for dayz! Well this is a simple update from that post (guide us lawd on those old post pics, smh). First and foremost, what is a defined fro?  Well, it’s part process, part product (curl definer). The process is how you apply your curl defining product. Many ‘o products are out there, even more so now that the “natural” market has exploded.  Fellow blogger Untrained Hair Mom is testing many well known curl definer type products via her “Wash-n-Go Series”.  Some of our tried and true are Kinky-Curly’s (KC) Curling Custard, Queen Helene’s Curl Shaping Creme (review here) and Taliah Waajid’s Curl Sealer. We’ve worked with KC’s the longest and our  official review is long over due  and forth coming but for the sake of giving you an idea of what KC’s Knot Today Leave In Conditioner and  Curling Custard can do, this…

Plus BIG HAIR, can turn into THIS…..

OWEEEE! Look at that BIG HAIR! Yes, there is some surrrrious shrinkage going on but nothing says heaven like seeing my baby’s beautiful curl pattern just POP!!  HHHhhhhhhh. This ^^^ takes some work. About an hour and 1/2 to work the product thru just right.  It could be done much quicker, but I find when we take our the time, it will last much, much longer. We used a few tools to work product thru, but it’s not required. Beads Braids and Beyond posted recently about just raking product thru (KC’s Curling Custard in particular) with your fingers. We’ve done that on occasion too, but we get better ‘clumping’ results with a fine tooth comb and modified Denman brush as pictured above. These extra step(s) will take much longer. But in actuality, an hour and 1/2 or so is nothing  compared the minimum of 4 hours it typically takes me to put in a good protective style. Just a little point of reference. All right, ya’ll still with me? What I’m trying to say is after allllll that work, don’t you want to see those curls hang around for a while?!?!?! Thought so!! Now “this is how we doooo i-i-it” using the Tightly Curly method (most DEF check out that blog fro’sho!):

After hair has been defined and completely dry, gently separate into medium to large sections. This should be easy if you defined BIG HAIR in small sections while wet and achieved good “clumping” with the your curl defining product and tools if applicable. Once you’ve gently separated, loosely braid each section, leaving the ends unbraided. In this pic, I am holding one of many ‘chunky monkeys’, as I like to call them. Notice how loose the braid is (you can barely tell its braided) and the untouched ends. To ensure the loose braids dont come unraveled, I secured each one with a small black rubber band right above the loose ends and I did not double wrap; it was snug as-is due to the size of the chunky monkeys. MMhmmmm…This leaves the ends of those beautiful coils in tact. Continue until the entire head has been gently braided. Next you can “pineapple” the hair (meaning, pull all sections towards top of the hair in a loose ponytail, thus like a pineapple), or pull back towards the crown of the head, which is our preference. To do this we use a simple “ouchless” type headband. A real stretchy one. Place it the around the entire head and gently pull taunt at the top until the hair glids back (or up for pineappling) and is secured -but don’t pull too tight else you have dentation marks- and tie a knot like so (be sure not to tangle hair in the knot!):

See those coily ends??? Nice right? Ok. For the shorter parts that wont stay secured in the headband,  we simply secure those back with a bobby pin like so:

Cover with your silk or satin cap and nighty nighty!!  Next a.m., gently take down, add a  lil’ shaky shake and Voila! 2nd day BIG HAIR!!

and 3rd day and so forth….

(Juniper Flower Headband courtesy of Pocketful of Rosies. See review here:)

You’ll notice the hair will be much fuller, yet with all that beautiful definition, GLOREH! That’s how we like it hon, BIG and purdyl!! You can continue this method for a few days. Here are a few pics of  BBH rockin BIG HAIR throughout the week. As her curls loose the definition, her hair gets demoted to “puff” styles for ease of styling:

Still holding on…
[^^SUPAPUFF!^^]

Now BBH’s hair can get dry like a mug when her hair is down and out. No surprise there. We combat this with CARA B Naturally’s Moisturizing Hair Mist and patting in a little vegetable glycerin, never really finger detangling until it was time for a protective style.

(days old puff moisturized with vegetable glycerin)

Vegetable glycerin is a humacant and works wonders to retain moisture in natural hair. From Ehow.com:

Vegetable glycerine’s moisturizing properties are beneficial for hair as well as skin. Dry, brittle hair will benefit from using hair care products made with it. Direct application of the oil can be extra powerful. If someone suffers from a dry, flaky scalp, rubbing vegetable glycerine into it can alleviate this irritation. This can be particularly beneficial for African-American women who tend to have these types of hair issues. In addition to its moisturizing properties, it also strengthens the hair and makes breakage and split ends less likely.

Whelp there you have it.  That’s how we “protect the poof” in this joint, livin the life of BIG HAIR for days at a time. OH! It should go with out saying, but you MUST protect BIG HAIR with silk or satin caps at night and its always good to have a “hair scarf” handy to place on the back of a chair or couch when your BBH will be sitting for an extending amount of time. MMhhmmm. Trust, cotton is not the fabric of your BBH’s life. Nothing worse than matted BIG HAIR, ohgaaa. So are you ready to get that BIG HAIR ON?!??! Cuz we’re gonna have our first ever Baby Big Hair “Frotective Challenge”  very soon….

Stay posted…  EEEEEEEEEK! In the meantime, please check out these awesome Curl Defining videos that have transferable techniques to any curl defining product:

Kinky-Curly Application Video:

Taliah Waajid Curly Curl Cream Video Application:

Go’Head Baby!

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