Wednesday 25 May 2011

Plaits, Matts and Two Cups of Hair

For some reason, as I wrote this, I felt like I was doing it in your typical Cockney gangster film narrative voice. I have no idea why. 

That is my justification for the abysmal title (name that film).

Obviously, my brain has been fried from far too much revision.

So in a nutshell, here's Braids - The Breakdown.

*Insert appropriate funky rock music here*

The Installation:
My hair had been washed the previous day was and minimally stretched from twists I'd gotten bored of the day before. I did the plaits/braids on dry hair, and used Vatika Oil as my styler thingy.

To do the plaits, I roughly parted and separated (and de-tangled) an adequate section with my fingers and started plaiting with three similarly sized strands of hair. When I no longer had three strands, I did twists to keep my ends together/protected.

I started at 4pm on the Friday evening and worked until 10pm. Then I started again at 11am the next day and was finished by 8pm. The installation was interspersed with cursing the assignment I was supposed to be working on and sorrowfully contemplating how I got myself into such a state.
So we'll just say it took me an entire day to do.

The Maintenance (and Styling)
To be honest, I didn't do anything special; I just went on as usual - I shampooed my hair twice a week, and did some extra rinsing when I'd been doing sports and had gotten all sweaty and stuff.

Every couple of days, I let my hair get a bit wet in the shower, and then applied some leave-in conditioner and  Vatika Oil. At night, I put my hair up in as high a bun as I could manage with a silk satin scrunchie and covered it with a satin scarf.

Silk scrunchie: £1.94 from pc_traders on ebay
Satin scarf (not shown) £2.99 from Hair Shop in London
This made my hair stick up in the morning, so I'd have to wear it in a ponytail as I got ready, or just them them get a bit wet in the shower to remind the plaits of the laws of gravity.

Honestly, I could've done a bit more to look after my ends, but my hair wasn't really my priority at the time, since I was attempting to complete my dissertation and still emerge a mildly sane person out the other end.

Whether this objective was achieved remains to be seen.

I left them in for four weeks and they got delightfully fluffy and fuzzy towards the end at the roots, but from the midsection downwards, the hair was still presentable.

The Fuzzy Roots (totally sounds like a band)

Compared to the still presentable midsection.

However, attempting to do a ponytail with them, meant that the fuzz overtook everything, so for a couple of inches back from my edges, it looked like my edges went on for years.

However, a couple of headbands and I was good to go!

Think I've mentioned the headband was stolen from the Littlest Sis

Headband - Present from The Wonder Thing (Cambodia)
Ear rings - Bought from China.

The matted, fuzzy roots.
Fortunately, the Grunk is not visible.

I know they were fine, because I took them to an interview in the fourth, fuzziest week. And I got what I was interviewing for. So the hair was not a problem.  

Just used a clip to put half my hair up
And left the rest down.
I don't remember where I got the clip from (so I probably hi-jacked it from my mum) but I remember it came in a packet, and you can find sturdier and more appealing clips in Boots and Superdrug.
I would have left them in for a couple more weeks, but my scalp was screaming at me for a proper deep cleansing scrub.

The Take Down
I found that I hadn't managed to completely avoid the grunk. You know, that stuff that appears at the base of the hair when you've had it in extension plaits or kinky twists for a couple of months, and it makes your hair go all matted...?

Wait, you mean you don't get that?

Oh. Okay.

Well, there was grunk. If you've never experienced it, don't worry about it. Just take my word for it.
I used KurlyBella's detangling spray to take my hair down (but that's for another post), and it was relatively easy.

Took me a couple of days though - I started on Thursday morning, and had half of it finished by the end of the day. Friday, had a sports tournament, so didn't get anything done really. Saturday, did some more in the morning, then chilled with friends in the evening and then finally got it all sorted out after church on Sunday.
So four days, but I  could've easily done it in two. I was being extremely careful when I took these out, because I know I'd amassed annihilated caused a small bit of breakage when putting them in, and I shed  buckets, so I was anticipating an ambush of knots and tangles.

My hair did not disappoint. Some areas were as easy as eating cake. Some areas were completely horrific (namely my crown, where the hair is finer and a pain-in-the-backside-ier). The braids were fine, but when I got to the roots, it was really matted and took me a while to gently de-tangle and separate the hair.

I used a pin/rat tail comb to unpick the ends, sprayed on the detangler and then unpicked the braid by hand. I detangled with my fingers and when I had a moderate section, I added more detangler and then clapped my hands together on either side of the section of hair and slid out the shed hair.
Separated the matting with my fingers and then slowly and gently ran my wide tooth shower comb through my hair to make sure.
If necessary, I added some Vatika Oil to give the harder to do sections a lot more slip.
Lack of nurturing my ends for four weeks meant some of them ran for the hills.

It's okay. I didn't like those fair weather ends anyway!

There aren't any pictures because trauma like that should not be shown to the general public...and my phone had been acting suspiciously anyway, so I decided not to.

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