How to do a Controlled Shape Trim (Mix’G Trim)


I’ve read various methods for trimming the hair, from the “fairy knot search and destroy” to the infamous Deva Cut. The goal of those types of trims is to remove the oldest hair that may be prone to damage or splitting. The end result is refreshed hair that probably has multiple random layers.

For a time, as my hair was growing, I would just section my hair into four, put my hair into ponytails with banded ends, and cut the ends off easily. It worked very well, but as it grew, I did not like the shape it was taking.

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Before the Controlled Shape Trim

My hair had the “Sideshow Bob” look in my opinion. The bangs were too long, and the top was too heavy, although my hair was healthy and moisturized. I wanted a more evenly layered shape, so I decided to go back to my cosmetology principles with a twist. I would use angular directional cutting to shape my hair with banding to control it.

Cutting Angles with Direction

If you have ever had your hair layered and watched the cosmetologist cut it, they lifted your hair to some degree and made the cut. They may have even pulled your hair in a certain direction to add or remove weight in an area of your hair. Those general principles are all it takes to create shape in a hair cut. Curly hair has the added challenge of coiling at the ends, making an accurate cut very difficult, so banding is necessary to control the hair.

Banding for Control

It is a challenge to cut curly hair when it is wet. Even hair with a gentle wave can throw off the evenness of a haircut. To shape natural hair, use a no-snag elastic to hold the hair in place for better control when cutting. Be sure to plan your cut first and think of how each section of the hair is to fall on the head, so that every section falls into place once the bands are released.

Step-by-Step Instructions for a Controlled Shape Trim

To achieve my layered look, I took the following steps.

1. After the normal wash routine, apply a small amount of leave-in conditioner and section wet hair into four.

2. Take each section of hair and detangle it by combing it to the crown (top) of the head.

     By pulling the hair to the crown of my head, I was giving direction to the hair to have shorter layers around the              crown of my head and longer layers around the periphery.

3. Pull each section into a ponytail and used a no-snag band to secure the hair at the base of the head as well as the ends of the hair. With four ponytails at the top of the head, the hair is ready to be cut.

4. Take each ponytail and pull it straight up to the ceiling. Cut the ends of the hair past the rubber band about a half-inch, making sure all the lengths of the ponytails are relatively even with each other.

5. When done, release the ponytails, added curl cream, and style.

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After the Controlled Shape Trim

The resulting shape was better suited for my face and was not so heavy in the front. I trim my hair about every 4 months, or after every other color retouch. I plan on keeping this shape for a while and see how it looks as it grows out.

Please let me know if this information was helpful! ❤ Ally

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Lite’G Honey Aloe Soft Hold Gel


I formulated this gel while in the process of trying to make a curl cream. I have a commercial curl cream that I use that has built-in hold, but sometimes I don’t want my hair so stiff. With a separate gel, you can completely control the level of hold you want on your hair and get the moisturizing benefits of your favorite curl cream. This gel can be used over your favorite curl cream to define curls and give a soft, touchable hold to the hair.

Hair Gel

 

Ingredients

1 cup water

1/2 tablespoon Kosher Great Lakes unflavored gelatin

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons aloe vera gel

1 tablespoon glycerin

 

To Make

Prepare gelatin by adding about 1/4 cup of cold water to a measuring cup. Add the gelatin slowly while stirring to wet the gelatin.  Heat 1 cup of water to boiling. Once water is boiling, remove from heat and slowly add 3/4 cup of hot water to gelatin powder while stirring continuously until powder is fully dissolved. Stir frequently until gelatin cools to warm temperature. Add honey to gelatin mix and stir. Allow mix to cool to close to lukewarm. Add glycerin and stir until thoroughly mixed. Cover and refrigerate until just firm, about 2-3 hours, checking mix frequently. When just firm, remove from refrigerator. Add 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel and use a stick blender to blend until mix turns creamy with a hint of green color. Refrigerate mix until firm and use immediately. Gel will only be stable for approximately 2 days.

To Use

On damp hair, apply your preferred curl cream as directed and allow curl cream to penetrate, soften, and set in the hair. Use a spoon to remove a quarter-size amount of gel from container and rub between hands to melt. Apply over curl cream and by smoothing and/or scrunching the hair and style as usual. Once applied, do not comb out the curls. Allow to air or diffuse dry.

Please let me know what you think of this recipe! ❤ Ally

3 Rules to Break When Coloring Natural Hair


I am extremely pleased with the way my color and highlights turned out this time around. But I realized that I didn’t follow three of the most of the cardinal rules of coloring hair. My main interest is in preserving the integrity of the hair and I take every precaution when I use color. The rules that I broke to achieve this look actually benefit the hair!

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My newly highlighted locks

As a cosmetologist, I only use professional color on my hair. The range of options of color are infinite with a good color line and skilled use of lightener. I would advise anyone considering a major color change to have a consultation with a licensed cosmetologist.

Rules to Break!

1. Always Perform a Shampoo Cap or Demi-Permanent  to Prevent a Line of Demarcation

When retouching the regrowth (roots) of the hair with the same level of color that has been previously applied, the rule is to apply color to the regrowth and then either do a shampoo cap or demi-permanent matching color to refresh the previously colored hair. This is to prevent a line of demarcation to show between the freshly colored regrowth and the previously colored hair at the midshaft and ends. That rule can be broken for natural hair! I break this rule for 2 reasons. 1. Overlapping color was causing my hair to become dry and brittle. 2. My hair is high porosity, and it would absorb a lot of expensive product. I tried retouching my regrowth only, and I found that there is no detectable line of demarcation because my hair has a curl pattern that hides it! This is one great way that I save money and save product.

2. Always Thin Weave Hair for a Natural Look

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Image is from a Pinterest site, I do not own this image

Normally, I am not a big fan of stripe highlights or thick weave highlights. Stripe highlights, as shown in the picture above, are created by highlighting alternating partings that are one-quarter to one-half inch thick in the “mohawk” section of the hair. Weave highlights are created by taking one-quarter to one-half inch parting of hair and “weaving” it to break up the harsh stripe line. This can be done in a thick or thin pattern. On straight hair, the rule of thumb is the thinner the weave, the more natural the resulting highlights will look. However with natural hair, I break this rule to get the effect I am looking for. There are 2 reasons why I break this rule. 1. Parting natural hair in a dry state must be done carefully. 2. It is easier to weave, pull apart and control thick weave in natural hair than thin weave in natural hair. The curl pattern of the hair blends the thick weave  and gives the hair a more natural look. This is a great method to get the highlight you want without causing excessive breakage, damage, and tangling.

3. Use Higher Volume Developers to Achieve More Lift in Color

This rule to break is totally a personal rule for my hair that I have arrived at through trial and error. I do not use any developer over 10 Volume in my hair when applying hair color. I have found that at higher volumes, my hair gets extremely dry and damaged. I just know my hair and it’s limitations, and I can live with the trade-off of less color choices to protect the integrity of my hair.With lightener, I was taught that the hair will lift with the lowest volume developer, but it will just take longer to achieve the level desired. In the picture of my hair, I achieved the lightest blonde streaks with lightener and 10 volume developer.

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Hair care is a family affair

I hope you benefit from my rebellious streak and take a chance on hair color!

Please let me know if this information was helpful! ❤ Ally

We Mix: My Wash-n-Band Method with Low Manipulation


I never got into the routine of doing twistouts. I tried two-strand and three-strand twists. I tried them on wet hair, damp hair, and dry hair. I tried everything, but I just couldn’t get into all the manipulation involved, especially on wash days. So I had to stick with a variation of the wash-n-go which I call a wash-n-band. There is no real method to my madness, but I will order the steps I take to achieve the look below.

How to execute a Wash-n-Band

1. Perform your normal wash day routine.

2. After applying leave-in conditioner to wet hair, part hair into four sections and tie a no-snag elastic at the base of the head in each section without causing pulling of the hair or causing discomfort. Tie the ends of the hair loosely with small rubber band at the ends.

3. Apply a generous amount of curl cream (preferably with hold) to midshaft and ends of hair while in the ponytails, and squeeze the product into the hair to distribute the product within the hair but do not squeeze the product out of the hair.

4. When hair is 50% dry, loosen the base elastic as depicted in the picture below and allow hair to dry to 80%. This allows the hair to be stretched but still form a wave pattern to blend with the ends of the hair.

5. When hair is 80% dry, remove the base elastic but leave the end elastics on and allow to almost completely dry.

6. When almost completely dry, remove end elastics and shake hair or manually manipulate to separate. Carefully use a wide-tooth comb to blend the partings. In the bottom picture, I took two pieces of hair from the left side and pulled them through the right side to hide the middle parting.

 

Banding Method

 

To maintain this look past day 1, use your partings as a guide to loosely band the hair at night. The next day, lightly mist any band marks with a water bottle and smooth the hair with hands. Lightly spray ends of hair, apply a small amount of curl cream, and squeeze ends to form a curling pattern.

Control of the Hair

In cosmetology school, the concept of control of the hair was drilled into our heads. With natural hair, it is of even greater importance to have control of the hair at all times to minimize tangling and breakage and to retain length. The wash-n-band helps me to achieve a wash-n-go look without excessive shrinkage that can lead to issues down the road.

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Styled hair after wash-n-band

Please let me know if this information was helpful! ❤ Ally

Lite’G Castor Oil Finishing Spread Pomade


My youngest daughter, Lauren, was just not having any more of being the guinea pig to test my products, so I had to step up to the plate. I mixed up a light (Lite’G) spread pomade to use for dry-twist/braid styles and flat-ironing for 4A and 4B hair. My goal was to make a product that didn’t end up feeling sticky on the hair, but is able to achieve great finished styles.

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Bantu Knot product test

I call it a “spread” because it’s not as heavy as a butter or cream, but it melts in your hands and is easy to spread on the hair in small amounts. I am very pleased with the weightlessness of the product in my hair. I have a bantu knot in the bang area now, and I am psyched at how it turned out!

 

Ingredients

1 tablespoon castor oil

1 tablespoon safflower oil

1 teaspoon emulsifying wax (trial-size available)

1 teaspoon Brahmi Herb Mix (see below for recipe)

 


 

Brahmi Herb Mix 

1 teaspoon brahmi powder (trial-size available)

¼ cup water

 

To Make

Use a ratio of 1/4 cup of water to 1 teaspoon of the dried herb powder. Pour boiling water over herbs and allow to steep 2 hours or until cool in a closed container. Strain herbs with a coffee strainer and discard. Use remaining liquid.


 

Lite’G Castor Oil Finishing Spread 

To Make

Make brahmi herb mix in a separate pot and let cool to warm. Mix castor and safflower oils with the emulsifying wax in another pot in a small double boiler. When the water in the bottom pot of the double boiler reaches the boiling point, the emulsifying wax will dissolve in the castor and safflower oils, about 1 minute. Remove castor and safflower oil from the heat and place on a potholder. Immediately combine the warm brahmi herb mix with the hot grapeseed oil (If you do it the other way around you will lose oil) in a 2-cup capacity container and use a wire whisk to blend 2-3 minutes. The mix should be a creamy consistency at this time. Allow the mix to cool to room temperature and then refrigerate. Use immediately.

To Use

I recommend blowing out hair with  Low-Heat Protection Lotion. To achieve the bantu knot look, apply the castor oil finishing spread in a pea-sized amount or smaller to thin sections of hair and pass over with a flat-iron no more than 2 times. Then spray lightly (do not saturate) with a holding spray or alcohol-free hair spray and twist and wind the hair into a bantu knot. Allow knots to set overnight. Unwind, separate, and style the hair.

Caution

The liquids in the recipe are at scalding temperatures. Mixolo’G, Natural Hair Mixology is not responsible for the assumption of risk in the execution of this recipe.

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Finished mixed textures look

I would love your feedback on this recipe! ❤ Ally

Kaolin Clay Clarifying Deep Cleanse Recipe



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 Mullein herb and kaolin clay

The idea of a spa-treatment for your hair really appeals to me. When I think of a clay cleanse, I think of the purifying and detoxifying elements of clays, ashes and muds. For my hair, this clay cleanse was the right treatment at the right time. I haven’t clarified my hair at all in the 3 years that I have been natural for fear of stripping the natural oils from my hair and leaving it feeling like straw. I also needed this cleanse because my scalp was inflamed and itching from sweating in the California heat. The kaolin clay and mullein herb did not disappoint. When I applied the mix to my hair, my scalp immediately stopped itching. After rinsing, conditioning and styling, I feel like my hair has a new lease on this natural hair journey!

I found that I did not need to have the mix in the consistency of a paste to get the benefit of the clay. 2 tablespoons were enough to give the clarifying effect and not be gummy as some naturals have reported. Also, I recommend using this mix every 2-3 months as needed to remove buildup from the hair.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons kaolin clay (trial-size available)

1 cup Mullein Herb Mix (see below for recipe)

 


 

Mullein Herb Mix

2 tablespoons mullein leaf (trial-size available)

1-1/4 cup water

 

To Make

Use a ratio of 1-1/4 cup of water to 2 tablespoons of the dried herb. Pour boiling water over herbs and allow to steep 2 hours in a closed container. Strain herbs and discard. Use remaining liquid.


 

Kaolin Clay Clarifying Deep Cleanse Recipe

To Make

Combine kaolin clay and mullein herb mix in an applicator bottle. Shake contents to thoroughly mix. Mix will be runny. Use immediately.

To Use

Hair must be detangled and shampooed or cowashed before applying the kaolin clay mix. Use applicator bottle to slowly saturate scalp and strands. Do not attempt to comb. Smooth hair with hands to make sure all the hair is covered. Gather hair into a ponytail (front or back depending on how you wash your hair) and loosely tie a no-snag elastic to hold the hair. Cover with a plastic cap and allow to sit 20 minutes. Rinse scalp and hair thoroughly until water runs clear. Expect hair to be stiff from clarifying effect. Condition, apply detangler/leave-in conditioner, and styling product to hair as normal. Hair should respond by feeling cleansed, strengthened and not stripped.

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Next day hair

I would love your feedback on this recipe! ❤ Ally

I Live and Dye by the Strand Test


IMG_2256My strand test method

This is not a new puff style (although it could be), but it is a picture of how I pull my hair up and take sections from the back of my head for strand testing new ingredients. Last night I tested Aritha powder on the left side and Kaolin clay on the right side. I must say that if I had applied the Aritha Powder all over my head without strand testing, I might be doing a big chop today. The powder is very potent and really pulls all the product from your hair, along with the natural oils your hair produces. Since I only used it once, it didn’t do any damage to my hair. However I can see how over time, the Aritha powder is much too drying for my hair. My hair reacted favorably to the Kaolin Clay. I  plan on moving forward with formulating a new recipe with it. But without performing a strand test first, I probably would have had disastrous results from the Aritha powder.

Please let me know if this information was helpful! ❤ Ally 

Trial-Size Ingredients Now For Sale


My Etsy shop is now open for business! Find us at etsy.com/shop/MixoloG

My online store is now open on my Facebook page! Click on the Products tab for ingredients! I am selling trial-size packets of dry ingredients for the naturalista who may not want to commit to buying the full size package until she/he knows that the recipe works on their hair. The trial-sizes are also great for recipes that are used infrequently. The 1st ingredient that I recommend for purchase is the guar gum because it is a thickener that I use in several recipes. The best recipe to start with is the Oatmeal Water Conditioner Recipe . It requires no heat or complicated steps, and it is the recipe that started me on my mixology profession. Please keep checking the online store because I will be continuously uploading more products to the page. I hope to influence future mixologists and make it easier to get started in the world of mixology. Like and share my Facebook page to keep up with the latest in mixology! ❤ Ally

 

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Quick Hair Rinse and Scalp Oil to Beat the Heat


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Ok Cali, it’s summer, we get it

This recipe is for wash-and-go type styles.

It is really hot and surprisingly humid today in CA, and I am the type of person who sweats profusely with a little activity. Mix the sweat with the products applied to my hair and it makes a hot, smelly mess. The odor may have been a sign of bacteria-growth, so I knew I needed to rinse and cool my scalp, but I wanted to apply something to it afterward so that it would not become dry and flaky. I did not want to go through the hassle of detangling my hair either. So I came up with the perfect compromise to hold me over until wash day.

Ingredients

1 capful grapeseed oil

1-2 drops lavender essential oil (pleasant scent) or 1-2 drops tea tree oil or peppermint oil (cooling sensation)

2 cups diluted iced tea (optional)

 

 

To Make

Mix the lavender essential oil (or tea tree or peppermint) into the grapeseed oil in a small container. Use immediately.

 

To Use

Section dry hair into 4 and band into ponytails. Apply lukewarm water to base of scalp and let water rinse at the scalp. Slowly adjust water to cool and lightly agitate scalp. As an option, stop the water and pour 2 cups of cold diluted iced tea on scalp. Once complete, allow hair to drip until it mostly stops but do not towel dry. Apply grapeseed oil mix to partings with fingers and massage into scalp area. Reapply styling product to the hair shaft and ends and air-dry to 80% dryness. Remove hair bands and scrunch hair to style.

Curl Reversion After Blowout


I gave Lauren a blow out using my Low-Heat Protection Lotion, and she wore her hair mostly in a low ponytail for a week. I would take the ponytail out every other day to comb through it with a wide-tooth comb and apply a butter product to keep it soft. Even with all her running around, her hair stayed mostly straight.

 

Curl Reversion 2

Lauren’s freshly blown out hair 

After a week, it was wash day for her. I wet her hair down and washed her hair with shampoo. The shampoo sat on her hair about 15 minutes and then rinsed. I applied the Lite’G Oatmeal Water Conditioner and left it on for an hour. When I detangled with the conditioner on, her hair felt soft and I detected no damage. I did notice that curls at the ends of her hair had loosened. When I did some online research about low-heat on hair, I found a great article about heat-training, which is the loosening that happens when even low-heat is used on the hair. Because I don’t blow out her hair often, I know her curl memory will return. Curl memory is how your hair can hold a curl pattern according to the way you continuously style your hair. (NapturallyCurly.com) We are both enjoying the temporary loosening of her curls and she can wear her hair out, which she loves! All’s well that ends well.

Curl Reversion

Lauren’s freshly detangled hair after blowout…The shrinkage is crazy!

Curl Reversion 3

Curls are dry and defined 

Please let me know if this information was helpful! ❤ Ally