TWA Style | Shingling

I know a lot of you have been wondering how I’ve been getting on with my hair post big chop. The answer in short (no pun intended) is GREAT!! I love the ease and simplicity of my tapered Teeny Weeny Afro and the colour is popping in the current sunny weather we are enjoying. Do I miss my long hair sometimes?….sure! There are moments I long for length just to switch things up but then mummyhood calls and I’m glad I don’t have to spend 30 mins plus on my hair anymore.

I’ve mostly just been doing wash and go’s but if I want more definition/pizazz I shingle my hair. For those not in the know, shingling is a styling method developed my Miss Jessie’s salon, which “manually turns kinks to curls.” It’s a way to achieve maximum curl definition and elongation and all that’s required is sopping wet hair, some sort of defining product and wide tooth comb, Denman brush or even your fingers. You can find tons of tutorials online and most especially on Youtube. My fav video is by Carmen of My Natural Sisters.

PRODUCTS/TOOLS

Curl Junkie Curl Assurance Smoothing Lotion

Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie

Eco Styler Olive Oil Gel

Curly By Nature Nourishing Gloss Balm

Denman Brush

PROCESS

After co-washing my hair I apply Curl Junkie Curl Assurance Smoothing lotion as my leave in. It acts as a great moisturizer and base to prevent crunch from the styling products used on top. I then apply a generous amount of either the Curl Enhancing Smoothie or Curl Activator Cream depending on my mood and what’s within reach. On top of that I apply a light amount of Eco Style Gel. I tend to re-wet my hair with a spray bottle in between applying products. Finally, I apply a very light layer of the Nourishing Gloss Balm. I then take small sections of hair, apply a small amount of gel and work my denman brush through the section, starting at the ends and smoothing with my fingers as I go. This defines and elongates my curls and makes them clump together. I do this throughout my hair, re-wetting as needed. I then leave my hair to dry. Because I use a gel, this style is able to last for 2-3 days and I just re-wet each morning with water.

TO NOTE

Hair needs to be very wet to get the best definition

Use a moisturizing Leave-in underneath your styling products to prevent crunch and dryness

For very short sections of hair, manually shingle with your fingers

You will get varying degrees of curl definition and clumping, depending on your hair texture

No amount of product or shingling can create curls where there are none

Baby Talk | Finger Coils on Miss E

Miss E’s hair is getting pretty long now. It pretty thick too except in the back where she’s got a bit of a Friar Tuck situation going on. Its also starting to knot up and picking up lint like no-one’s business. Up till now I’ve left her hair well alone and I’ve just kept it moisturised and detangled with water and shea butter. However, I think it’s now time to start styling her hair. I’ve been playing around with her hair to see how she handles me touching, making parts and putting in elastic bands. She’s fairly tolerant as long as she’s well fed and I put on an episode of Doc McStuffins (she adores this show).

 I decided to start simple and try finger coils. They are quick to do, don’t require any elastic bands and make for a very low-tension style. My biggest problem was getting access to the back of her head and how to keep her hair out of the way after I’d made a parting.  To solve the back of the head problem I did the front, middle and sides of her hair whilst she was in her high chair then I put her in this little contraption.

It is very low to the ground however, so against the manufacturers guidelines I did prop it on top of a very wide foot stool. I just made sure to attach the food tray and never left her unattended whilst elevated. Keeping her hair out of the parts was a little trickier as her hair is too short for clips and grips are too fiddly. In the end I discovered that my hair combs did a magnificent job of keeping her loose hair out of the way without causing me a headache or her any pain.

To do the coils I first wet her whole head with water then I parted a small square section of hair.  To that section I applied some aloe vera gel from Anita Grant. I love this gel, it has no additives and is super gentle on hair, plus it gives great hold.

After applying the gel, I coiled the hair around my finger making sure to keep the base fairly tight. This style can last about 3-4 days depending on how small you do the parts. Unfortunately, Miss E is a very handsy little girl and the morning after I did the style I discovered she’d pretty much destroyed it during the night. For us, finger coils would have to be a one maybe two day style at most but they do look super cute on her.