The night before washing I Pre-Poo’d (condition prior to shampooing – see great write up here) with the following mixture:

  • 1 large part conditioner of any kind (Leave-In’s not excluded). I suggest using a cheaper brand for this one;
  • 1 teaspoon or tablespoon (depending on how much conditioner you use) of your choice of oil. We use extra virgin olive oil, but I’ve heard castor, jojoba, grapeseed, coconut and sunflower oils are also great moisturizers; and
  • Baking Soda, adding to the above parts little by little until the texture changes a tad bit (or you can add more till fluffy if you are pre-pooing a few minutes before washing vs. all night). ** As a side note, there are many mixed reviews on the use of baking soda on natural hair. It works for BBH, but I suggest, go moderate on your first try, or not even at all. You may achieve great results with just the conditioner and oil mixture alone as a pre-poo. I also do not recommend for daily or weekly washings. Also, some naturals use baking soda alone as a gentle cleanser.
I work through her hair and detangle with my fingers and a wide tooth comb, if necessary. Then I part her hair in large sections (a tip from Beads, Braids and Beyond), see below pic, and cover with her satin cap. Because I Pre-Poo on dry hair, it doesn’t soak through her cap and onto her pillow, etc.
Pre-Poo’d Hair

Why Pre-Poo?? For BBH, it softens the hair (partly because of the baking soda) and DRASTICALLY minimizes tangling while washing. Also, you are loading your hair with moisture, so that you’re not completely stripping the hair when washing.


I then proceed to wash each braided section with Kinky Curly’s Come Clean Shampoo. It’s a very gentle cleanser and can be used daily. You can shampoo the hair while in the braid, but because of the baking soda, I take each braid out and shampoo individually paying close attention to massaging the scalp and rinse. Her hair just slips because of the Pre-Poo.

**At least once a month I do an Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse before applying final Leave-In Conditioner. This consist of 3 parts slightly cooled water (to lock in moisture) to about a 1/2 cup of vinegar. The smell dissipates…  And it leaves hair even more incredibly soft and shiny.


Depending on my schedule and how dry her has been, I either do the following ending in Bantu knots:

  • a) on soaking wet hair, apply a water based conditioner to her hair like Kinky Curly’s Tiny Twirls Conditioner (vs. the thick opaque stuff), detangling w/fingers and cover with shower cap. Let her do her thing for 20-30 minutes and rinse out and unto 3b; or
  • b) on soaking wet hair, apply Leave-In Conditioner, which is almost always Kinky -Curly’s Knot Today (I know, I’m a billboard for KC right?!?) and detangle with fingers. *Other Leave-In’s used in the past are Beautiful Curls Curly to Kinky and Giovanni Direct Leave-In.
The knots are great for holding the moisture and Leave-In product in while I begin styling her hair.
Leave-In Conditioned Hair


From here, we generally style her hair in twists and then switch up the style the following week (or few weeks after in more stretched styles). BBH’s hair does not do well drying over night, so we start washing pretty early so that her hair is dry by night time. BUT, there are many blogs out there that highly recommend drying the hair (over night) while stretching it by banding, threading or other methods such as braiding in plats all around the head. Here are a couple links/videos:

Whelp, that’s how we keep it Curly!! What’s your hair washing routine?

In Pipe Cleaners Part I posted yesterday, I showed you how to achieve loose curls (by trial and error) with using pipe cleaners. However, what I really wanted were much tighter, clumped curls. So I gave it another whirl that evening before putting BBH to bed.

Poor Man’s Strawllers Take Two: Tighter Curls

Repeat steps 1-3 in Pipe Cleaners Part I, but bend the pipe cleaner in 1/2 first, looping the bottom around your finger and twisting the pipe cleaner all the way to the top, like this..

You’ll notice the rolling will be much tighter…..

Cover with a satin cap. Now what I do like most about using the pipe cleaners is that they are soft and you can mold them to you BBH’s head. I actually bent the loops back and around to support the ends of her hair this time. You do have to be careful that the wires at the top are safely bent so not to scratch or poke the scalp, or snag the hair. Now I can see if you’re strategic and a better planner than I, how one could leave pipe cleaners in the hair (black cleaners on black hair etc) for a day or two for the ultimate setting like my relatives told me, but we had school the next day and I didn’t want the stares and the curiosity (we ‘der). So here’s what we had the following mornng when I took them out:

LOVED IT! Kind of reminds me of a bob. I decided not to piece them out so the curls would hold shape longer, but I’m sure it would’ve been very, very cute, like picture day hair cute. The curly locs kept up really well! This is a pic a week later doing absolutely nothing to her hair but pulling the top half into a high loose pony tail at night and covering with her satin cap. See how the curls just fell?

But still, I want them just a little tighter to last longer and with more height, so I bought another pack of pipe cleaners to double up and roll in smaller sections at a time. We’ll see. EEK! I can’t wait. In the meantime..

Be Curly!

As mentioned earlier this week, I wanted to share with you this amazing way to curl braids or twists using pipe cleaners.  Yes, pipe cleaners. $1 (or so) pipe cleaners.  Yup, I call them “Poor Man’s Strawllers.”  I was at my family reunion earlier this summer when my two cousins, who have GORGEOUS teeny tiny locs, rolled up in that joint with “Shirley Temple” like curls.  MAN I wish I had a pic… Anywho, they told me about pipe cleaners and how they set their hair in them for a few days to achieve the curls, and how the curls loosen over time, given you a great look for like – WEEKS!!  So naturally, that was put high on my list of “hair hopes” (like, I hope BBH’s hair can do that, LOL!).

After rockin’ BBH’s hair out for awhile from trying Queen Helen’s Royal Curl Curl Shaping Creme for the 1st time (a tub of GOLD I tell ya, see review here), it was time for a protective style.  Once Upon a Curl was having a braids contest on FB so I figured for my entry (vote for me!) I’d do box-type braids style w/a lil’twist, the pipe cleaners! The closet crafter I am, I just happen to have some pipe cleaners stashed away.   But when I grabbed them, I realized they were the metallic kind and I remember my cousin telling me the chenille kind were best. She was right. I tested one in my own hair; not good, metallic pipe cleaners pull the hair. So I grabbed the chenille kind during my (almost weekly) visit to Jo-Ann’s.

So I braided BBH’s hair Saturday morning (related product review to be posted separately and soon), but Daddy BBH and I had plans late afternoon thru the evening. So I didn’t bother to curl them that day or that night, since we got in so late. BUT I tried it 1st thing Sunday AM before church and later that evening before bed (yes,I did it twice, you’ll see why).

Poor Man’s Strawllers Take One: Loose Curls:
Apply a little bit of product for hold.  Or spritz with water to revive the product already in the hair.  If you decide to add a bit of product for hold, I suggest rubbing in your hands 1st and then blotting/pressing the product into the hair between your hands.  I like blotting because (for me) it keeps the style in tact and I feel like I’m getting product into the “nooks and crannies”, LOL!  Ok so moving on…

1st: Take a pipe cleaner, loop the end and twist like this:

2nd: Take hair and start rolling from the bottom (but above of the loop) like so:

3rd: Secure by bending the top of the pipe cleaner back like this:

Lastly: Let set. That’s it! But you might as well have a little fun and get “bendy” with it…

I removed them from her hair about and hour and 1/2. These are the results (Sorry about the watermark but trust, very nice):

Not exactly what I was visualizing, but I did like how soft the curls were, especially after having the cleaners in her hair for a short period of time.  We were off to church, but I was determined to have tighter curls.  See what we did that evening in Part II’s post coming up next.  In meantime…

Be Curly!

HAIRSPIRATION: A particular hairstyle that inspires you to try it yourself or create your own hairstyle(s).

We all have at least one. That OOWEE style that you can’t stop looking at. Out of hundreds of styles done by Nikki G of Beads, Braids and Beyond, this has to be my favorite. Maybe it’s the intricate pattern of the rows on the side with the contrasting cascade of twists on the other, but it ‘got’ me. I remember it like yesterday. I saved the link and would click on it every so often. Next thing I know, I started trying new things on BBH’s hair. Don’t get me wrong, there are many great styles out there and we’ll share more Hairspirations on BBH, but this one right here is special, it left a mark on our hair journey. What is your latest Hairspiration?

I love Tightly Curly’s site (TC).  It was one of the first blogs I found that really hipped me to caring for Baby Big Hair’s hair; the other being Beads, Braids, & Beyond.  Here is a link on TC’s site for caring for baby and toddler hair and defining curls.  THIS WORKS PEOPLE.  Of course no hair is as perfect as “Day One” hair, but you can let them wear hair “out” for a few days with a little bit of TLC.

Since BBH’s hair has grown much longer  and w/the dryer months, I’m more prone to twists and twist outs on BBH, but I can’t wait until it warms up so I can get back to defining and letting her hair naturally dry in the sun. Hhhhh. It’s simply devine. Here’s a pic of one of my last good defining sessions.  We call it her “curly fro”.  Go’Head Baby, Be Curly!!