Post by Thandiei
Since I’ve allowed my natural hair to grow I’ve had the best time busting ‘down looks’, ‘up-do’s and everything in between.
At the Creed Premiere in London last month
Textured haired is a joyous world of opportunities – and it starts with confidence and pride; because Baby, big hair gets a big reaction! So get ready for centre-stage attention, and warm up the high beam smile to match.
A simple pony tail can be the chicest solution to a dramatic, eye-catching, killer look. Right now I’m loving the drama of pulled-back hair and giant, curly ponytail. And when it comes to ‘human hair’ wefts, the options are potentially, well, huge!
So here’s how…
You Will Need – hair wefts, needle and thread (colour to match your hair colour), good scissors, toupee clips (also known as weave clips), curling irons, large ceramic plate, clothes hanger (with skirt clips).
The first step is to purchase good quality human hair that matches your own in texture. My go-to store in London is PAK.
The key is to buy single wefts
. You can always double them for extra volume, by stitching 2 wefts together. You don’t want a lot of thickness at the root, so double thickness is the most I go for.
The hair usually comes in long strips, which you can cut to your desired width. For this look I prefer placing smaller pieces here and there, rather than long strips from ear to ear.
I cut these pieces about 6 inches (15 cm) wide, and sewed 2 together to create the thickness I wanted. Stitch the second piece ‘just below’ the stitching of the first weft, to avoid the final weft becoming too bulky at the root.
Next, stitch the toupee clips (below) along the weft – one at each end, and one in the middle.
Weave (toupee) Clips
Make sure you place the clip’s ‘teeth’ towards you (obvious, but if you’re distracted it’s easy to do it wrong!).
I used straight hair which I home permed myself (using Boots brand home perm kit and perm rollers from Sally.
) The perm is a looser curl than I wanted for this look, so I boosted the bounce with curling irons. For a curly look it’s always better to have permed the hair pieces ( or buy them already curly), as using irons on straight-to-curly isn’t as stable (the curl can drop quickly, especially in damp weather, or a sweaty club!).
Tools of the trade
The double pronged curling iron I’m using in the picture, was a gift from my long-time friend and hair hero Kerry Warn. He got them from his favourite supply store in Paris (see below). But there are great irons out there, like this one from hottools.com which you can order on-line, or buy from a good beauty supply store (see below).
Always protect your skin from hot tongs!
But please be careful – and always create a place where the hot irons can lie away from anything that will burn (like wood, cloth, your skin!). A large ceramic plate will do. A millisecond burn from one of these things is NO JOKE, especially on dark skin where the mark will stay for months, even up to, or more than, a year. You can see that I covered my legs with my bathrobe when I curled the pieces.
A good tip I dreamt up recently, is using a coat hanger with skirt clips and hanging the weft between the clips.
Place the hanger on a low hook. It keeps the weft secure, and makes curling easy.
The other option is to use dress pins to secure the weft on a polystyrene head-shaped wig stand (available from beauty supply stores) and place the shoulders of the stand between your knees while you curl.
For this low pony tail look, I placed the hair pieces in the lower back section of my hair.
I created partings and clipped the pieces along the parted section, close to the scalp. I don’t back comb, because my natural, curly hair holds clips very well.
But if your hair is wavy, you might need to gently back comb along the part, to give the clips some purchase so they don’t slide out.
The pieces added length and a ton of volume to my pony tail (the bigger the better!). It’s amazing how much hair you might need, to achieve a dense, luxurious curly ‘do’. Especially if you’re being photographed – because as soon as a flash hits curly hair the volume is reduced by being able to see ‘through’ the hair.
So, be bold and stuff that barnet with pieces, you won’t be disappointed with the results.
Once the wefts were in place, I pulled all the hair into a ponytail. The great thing about textured hair is that it ‘hides’ clip in wefts beautifully, so once the wefts are prepped, it actually takes very little time to be out the door with this look.
The best kind of hair band for this much volume, is the ‘bungee band’
. Once you’ve gathered the hair into a ponytail, hook one end and then wrap the band around and around, secure the other hook when you’ve wound it as tight as you can.
Keeping the ponytail tight adds much more drama to the volume of the pony. I also use a little Tancho hair wax
to control stray curls and give extra sheen.
Caring for your wefts is easy. Use a spec of gentle shampoo to wash them, brushing as you go (I use a Tangle Teaser), and a little conditioner on the ends. Rinse. You can even put a dab of serum on the ends if they’re looking dry and split (‘human hair’ wefts behave as natural hair does, and get damaged over time, so keep them nourished).
Lay them flat on a towel (or hanging in the hanger clips!) to dry.
Other great Hair and Hair Tool supply stores:
721 8th Avenue
tel: +1 212 757 0175
Various branches around Manhattan
12640 Riverside drive
tel: +1 818 655 9933
11252 Magnolia Blvd
tel: +1818 760 3902
5270 Laurel Canyon Blvd
San Fernando Valley
tel: +1 818 769 3834
Kerry Warn’s go-to Paris supply store:
17-19 Passage de L’Industrie
tel: +33 1 448 3500
Atlantic Road, Brixton.
London SW9 8JL