Protective Styling Season

Everyone needs a break from their hair. Protective style options are a great way to take a break. However, if your goal is to grow long natural hair, I suggest transitioning out of added hair and have your own hair put into a protective style once it reaches a medium length. As the hair grows, the protective style braids, twists, etc should become bigger. Less parting equals less stress points on the hair. Less weight in the hair equals less stress on the hair.

 When I went to Lake Tahoe for a few days with my kids, I twisted my hair up because I did not want to deal with it on the road.
2 Strand Twists


When I took the twists down, I had a nice wavy twistout that was elegant looking. Once I washed my hair, it was more dry than normal from the blowout. But the recovery, shedding and hair loss were close to normal, and what I would expect for the twist style. I have never had hair added since I have been natural. It is my preference not to add the hair. For me, it would be too tempting to leave the style in for too long and risk my already thirsty high porosity hair falling out. So many protective styles can be achieved on the hair we have. I plan on experimenting with some throughout the fall/winter months, and of course, I will share the results!

Please let me know what you think! ❤ 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.


Styled hair after wash-n-band

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

Allow Me To Introduce Myself (and my girls!)


From left to right: Jasmine Craig, Altaress Craig, Lauren Craig

Please call me Ally…My name is Altaress Craig and I am the mother to my two wonderful girls, Jasmine and Lauren, who are my apprentices and product testers 🙂 . Jasmine is my oldest, with 4C texture hair (Here is a link that explains hair-typing ). Lauren, the not-so-little-anymore child, has a mix of 4A and 4B hair. My hair is 4B with more loose locks in the front of my head. I am fortunate to have children with different hair textures to try my recipes on, because I have already found that one recipe that works perfectly on my hair may leave my youngest daughter’s hair undesirably greasy. It is so true that what products work on one person’s hair may not work on another!

I started this journey into mixology after graduating from college and cosmetology school and not knowing what direction I wanted to take my career in. Going natural in 2010 narrowed down my focus to natural hair and, with the help of social media, introduced me to a whole new world of learning and growing about natural hair. All these new terms…twistout, braidout, LOC…I was lost but excited to know there were so many of us united on the natural hair journey. I became a product junkie of course, but I would buy sample sizes to save money. I love my hair now, shrinkage and all.

However, the problem I saw in the product world is that sometimes products go out of production. Or the company changes up the ingredients. Or we are sensitive to the formula. Or they flat-out cost too much. What are we to do in those cases? My hair recipes are my backup plan when a situation like this arises. I still use commercial products, but if I can make it at home and save money I will. I have already been disappointed by a company discontinuing my favorite lipstick or my most flattering foundation. It is a soul-crushing experience. With one conditioner recipe I tried from a blogger, I learned that I do not have to go through that with hair products! Natural Hair Mixology was born. I jumped into the game and I’m not looking back!

Let’s get to know each other. Feel free to leave a comment. ❤ Ally