Thursday, September 20, 2012

Introducing: “The Becky” |THē bek-ee|

Perhaps the most frequently asked question about my hair (other than, “can I touch it?”) is: How do you achieve those perfectly coiled curls? While straw sets, twist outs, braid outs, and finger twists are all methods I have employed at one time or another, my daily go-to is a tried and true wash ‘n’ go… A 6-step style I have affectionately nicknamed “The Becky” (|T͟ bek-ee| n. a convenient hair style completed while in the shower. Also known as a "wash 'n' go").
Here's how I do it:
Step #1Saturation – I saturate my hair with water from the showerhead. I use this as an opportunity to rinse out any product from the previous day. I press the water through my hair and I lightly massage my scalp but I am careful to avoid the temptation to detangle at this stage.
Step #2Condition – I apply enough conditioner to fill the basin of a cupped palm (about a ping-pong ball sized amount). I rub the conditioner together in the palms of my hands then I plant my hands onto the various zones of my head (front, back, and middle) transferring the product equally. Next, I smooth the conditioner through. The smoothing motion is similar to one used to make a high ponytail (front, back, and sides). I then go to work down the middle of my head to ensure the conditioner is equally distributed. I will add additional conditioner if needed to achieve maximum slip.
Step #3Finger Detangle – Now that my head is fully coated I gently detangle my hair using just my fingers (a process sometimes referred to as “raking”). If I have applied enough conditioner this process should be a breeze (especially if I braided my hair and protected it with a satin scarf or bonnet the night before). If I run into any areas that give me trouble I reach for more conditioner. I finger detangle in the direction of the style in which I am going to wear my hair. I typically like my curls to frame my face, so I finger detangle so my hair falls in each direction (front, sides, and back). If you wear your hair parted to one side or straight back, you should finger detangle accordingly. At the end of this step I am left with somewhat of an afro mop-top and I resemble a Chocolate Beatle. I let the conditioner sit while I move on to my other shower business.

Step #4Rinse – Now that my body is squeaky clean, and the conditioner has had an opportunity to work its magic, I rinse my hair. If you can do this with cold water you are a superstar! Because I want to maintain my shape (remembering the Chocolate Beatle) I practically have to stand under the water stream to rinse, so, lukewarm is about as cold as I can go. I rinse my hair until it is soft to the touch which usually means there is about 10% of the conditioner remaining.
Step #5Styling – I now reach for my styling or leave-in product. The amount of product I apply depends on its consistency, crunch factor, stickiness, and build-up potential. If there is one thing I DON’T LIKE (Chief Keef voice)… It’s sticky, tacky, crunchy, producty feeling hair. Hair Rules' (yes, “Hair” like H-A-I-R and “Rules” like R-U-L-E-S) Curly Whip is my go-to saving grace (full product review coming soon). I apply the product in a similar manner to which I applied the conditioner. I use a raking motion to comb the product through all the while stretching my curls with ever pass. I splash a little water on my hair and rake/stretch some more. I continue with this process until I feel as though my curls have “found” each other as much as possible. If I resemble a Chocolate Beatle with a drippy S-curl mop-top I have done everything right. I bend forward and shake my hair vigorously. Then I hop out of the shower.
Step #6Dry – I step out of the shower and sit under the hooded dryer to set my curls and eliminate the “drip.” The goal is to be curlylicious not inspire a rendition of “Soul Glo” as I go about my day. The warmer the weather outside, the less time I dedicate to the dryer (thank God for Cali sunshine and sunroofs). I finish with a spritz of oil for that “not-so afro sheen” shine effect (SheaMoisture Elixir is my go-to “no-so afro sheen”). Once my hair is relatively dry I fluff my curls ever so slightly and very carefully… Too much fluff generates a whole lotta frizz. And I am done! Becky complete!

What is your go-to style and what you do to maximize its efficiency?

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