My Tension Blow Out + Winter Humidity

I have an announcement to make: my braids are finally out!

Exactly a week ago I carefully took my braids down and deep conditioned my hair overnight… and over the next two days. The first turban on Monday was intentional; but on Tuesday, I forgot that I had a class and had to throw something together. The fabrics I used for each of these turbans were incredibly different, but I was impressed at my ability to randomly tie them! The key is to just keep twisting and tucking until there’s no more left. Don’t think, just twist and tie.

Before taking my braids down, I decided I wanted to see what would happen if I blow dried and flat ironed my hair all on my own. I’ve straightened my hair a total of five times since I’ve big chopped, but they have all been from April-September, and my hair often poofs up within days (my visit to Carol’s Daughter Salon was an exception, even in the middle of May). I thought I’d give straight hair a shot in the winter time, under the assumption that my style would last longer – even though I get bored with straight hair after a few days anyhow, as I’m completely clueless about what to do with it.

As I undertook the first step to getting my hair straight, I opted for a tension blow out that would elongate my strands without providing too much stress and damage to them. I honestly went into the process knowing it was going to take me a while to blowout and then flat iron in small sections, but I was ready! But by the time I put the blow dryer down, my hair was big and fabulous and I fell in absolute and utter love.


I posted this photo on Facebook and Instagram because I was feeling myself asking whether I should straighten or not. The answer was a resounding HECK NO! In addition to the Instagram and Facebook vote, another reason why I decided to hold off on straightening my hair is because of the high levels of humidity that New York is currently experiencing due to the incessant snow storms. I would’ve never known, but one of my friends and former Fitness and Health feature, Janice, said I should double check the humidity before flat ironing. To my surprise, the humidity for that day was around 70%. For some reason I always thought humidity could only be a summer thing. You know those days when it’s just icky to go outside? Apparently snow (which makes even more sense since I knew this about rain) can pop your flat ironed natural hair bubble in a heartbeat as well. I experienced this cray winter humidity firsthand after taking a picture of my hair the day after I blew it out, only to find it slightly shrunken, particularly in the back where my hair is the tightest. And this is despite me putting my hair into four big braids-turned-twists to keep it stretched!


Thankfully, a few days of stretching brought it back closer to it’s original blow out length, and reclaiming my trusty side part rejuvenated so much LIFE into this look!


Long story short, I haven’t flat ironed yet, but I plan to within the next week. Hopefully the winter weather forces will let me be great! Of course I will share everything with you, but until then, check out the video of my process and products used for the tension blow out, as well as some of my other blow out vids. My length hasn’t come a miraculous way but my hair health and knowledge definitely have.

February 2014

July 2012

May 2012

December 2011

March 2011

Do you blow out or straighten your hair more often in the winter? Why or why not?

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  1. Looks similar to the results I get with threading overnight. Ever try that? I had totally forgotten about it (yes, it was that many years ago ) but it was a part of my daily routine back in high school. I had extremely full, 4c, bra-strap length hair at the time, and threading (almost no gaps) was the only way I could manage it the following day. If I ever forgot to thread it the night before, detangling was a nightmare the day after. I only ever had my hair loose on the weekends though. My hair was almost always in a protective hairstyle (Naija boarding school tinz).

    1. Here’s a pic/video of what I mean here:
      Any thread works (I use weave thread, but I’ve even used sewing thread on occasion when I run out of weave thread 😀 ) I don’t do as many sections either. 4 sections is all I ever need. I guess it depends on how long your hair is though.

  2. What is a tension blowout?

    Also during the winter I usually go for minimal manipulation because I feel like my strands are already so dry and stressed out. I do my hair 1-2x a week and then in between I moisturize with some hair milk (currently using Bee Mine). Sometimes, if I can afford it or feel like it, I do some braids. I haven’t been transitioning + natural for long, but I haven’t used my flat iron since at least December 2012.

    1. If you play the first video, she shows us how to do the tension blowout. There are other helpful tutorials on You Tube as well 🙂
      You hair looks fab.