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How to Make a Smooth Puff

To achieve this look:

Cold Weather Version (I seldom do puffs in cold weather, nappy hair needs protection from extreme temperatures)

1. Wash, detangle and moisturize the hair.
2. Braid in big box braids (about 7)--firmly stitched but leave slack at the roots. Cover with silky wrap/cap (leave the cap off so the hair can air dry until your daughter climbs into bed). Dry over night. The firm braids will stretch out the hair.
3. To style. Mist the hair with water (I try not to manipulate perfectly dry hair). Use your fingers first to gentle pull the strand into the shape of this style. Gently smooth with a natural boar's bristle brush and gather the hair into a pony puff using a pony tail holder (no metal parts).
4. Rub a light oil between your palms and smooth over the edges. You can also use gel if you choose--but you'll have to rinse it out before manipulating the hair into a different style.
5. Cover head with a scarf to set for 20-30 minutes.

Warm Weather Version

1. Wash, detangle and moisturize hair. Leave the hair soaking wet.
2. Using you fingers first, gently pull the soaking wet strands into the shape of this style. Take a paddle brush and smooth the hair into a pony puff with a pony tail holder (no metal parts).
3. Blot the loose hair (puff) gently with a towel/t-shirt. I squeeze the water out in my hand by covering my palm with the towel and opening and closing my fist.
4. Use your palms to smooth on oil and gel (if you want) to the smooth parts. You can gently brush the fly aways with a natural boars bristle brush.
5. Cover with a scarf that conforms to your daughters head--the goal is to hold the smooth part down as they dry so the hair can't shrink back up. Remove after at least 20-30 minutes or until you are ready to reveal the style. The loose hair will shrink as it dries. You can stretch it out some by braiding or twisting it as you set the smooth parts down with the scarf. Release the braid/twist when you remove the scarf.

Be careful with gel. Some gels can be very drying. Watch out for alcohol which can be drying, except for cetyl alcohol is a harmless fatty alcohol found in both hair and skin products.

I like Fantastia IC gel--and always use an oil as a barrier between it and the hair. I've heard good things about pure aloe vera gel (light hold), and Eco Styler Gel.

I use the gel or not. It's not absolutely necessary unless I'm really concerned about the girls fuzzing up the style. Oil and water alone helps the hair to lay down well.

Note: This style is a treat--meaning I wouldn't do it every day or for a month straight. It requires a lot of manipulation, which over time can be damaging to the hair.

I let my girls wear it for a week and maintain it by covering their hair with a scarf at night and spritzing the puff with water and reshaping it with my fingers in the morning.

I use water and more oil/gel and the scarf set method I described above if the smooth parts get messy. I never try to brush through stiff geled hair with a brush. My fingers are usually enough. If not, I take down the style.


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