A new category of hair styling tool has emerged. It has been seen at stores like Michael’s, local beauty supplies, Amazon, and more. Type 4 naturals everywhere have been able to achieve defined twists–and even start dreads–with this innovative hair sponge, also sometimes called a twist or loc sponge.
What makes it so different from a regular sponge? It contains tiny suction holes on the foam side of the sponge that, when used on damp hair and spun around, grab the hair and twists a tendril, piece by piece.
What would normally take hours sometimes is now reduced to only minutes with the help of the twist/loc hair sponge. Online, mostly men and those with short, tapered cuts are using a hair sponge to define their coily hair.
Vloggers and barbers use these
- Twists Hair Sponge, $4.99 on ebeautyusa.com
- Black Ice Magic Twist Sponge, $6.72 on wigtypes.com
- Fresh Loc Sponge, $10 on amazon.com
How to twist your hair with a sponge
- Apply your twisting styling product all over your head at once–we like Darcy’s Botanicals Avocado & Honey Twisting Cream.
- Use sponge and go in a circular motion across your head.
- Add a small dollop sized amount of styling pomade like SheaMoisture Three Butters Styling Pomade to secure the look.
What not to do
- Use it on straight hair. This specific product is meant for naturally textured, coarse hair.
- Use it on dry hair. To avoid breakage from the friction of the sponge material, style with slightly damp hair.
- Press heavily on the hair.
- Spin in different directions. Keep your direction of spinning consistent throughout the entire head.
Watch these tutorials!
MORE SHORT NATURAL HAIR STYLING TIPS!
The minimalism mantra of today is “less is more,” and nothing showcases this more than the popular short, curly texture haircuts this year that are bold and beautiful. Just like that hot and short text from your man, a hot and short curly cut has an instantaneous “sizzle” effect. Scroll down to see the hottest short cuts of 2018 that give you all the motivation you need to go for the big chop.
This is a strong taper curly haircut showcasing the length and the texture on top. It’s perfect for 4C texture because it’s very manageable at this length.
Key Tip: For lasting definition twist it and then rod it. I do this specifically with 4C textures because it can be challenging to create definition. So in order to create a very defined look, twist it and then a rodding it for a double curly effect.
This is a blowout with loose curls brushed out with a wave motion technique with a bristled brush. The shaved sides give a deliberate edge to the style. Women rock this look to show that bad girl side and express some sense of level up edgy about themselves. The lower you go on the sides, the more edginess you bring out.
Key Tip: Be sure to use a leave-in conditioner certain and a thermal protectant. Anytime you wear a blowout, heat protectant is essential.
At Salon PK we debuted this look a year ago, and when celebrity singer Kelis recently lit up our timelines with this exact look, it was proof that it’s still a hit in 2018! This curly haircut is designed to be incredibly soft to allow for the fullness of the natural curls to blossom, with enough length to show the loop of the curls on the side. The top is done with multiple rod sizes, to get that organic look.
Key Tip: Sometimes you see rod sets with one uniformed rod arrangement, but if you want an editorialized look with individuality to the hair, you can use different size rods to create a nice natural look that doesn’t look like a rod set. The rose gold full progression is what I call a “dreamsickle” 😉
Low Key Fade & Lunar Part
This is for the free-spirited girl that is low maintenance but still wants to push the envelope. This style is a soft fading going inward like a subtle mohawk – with a dynamic lunar part design. It’s meant to bring out the edgy to the highest extent. This is for the lady that wants her hair to be the main focal point when she walks in the room. She doesn’t want her hair to just be done, she wants it to be “too lit!”
Key Tip: Use a curl defining product like curl pudding, along with a sponge which is a must to go around the curls on the top.
Who runs the world? Curls! This is a cute, soft and dainty look ideal for Type 3 hair. It’s not overly defined and has the same length of curls all around. The desired effect is a soft frame for texture flow without the rigidness. Hairstylists often talk about what to do, but it’s also just as important to know “what not to do.” When the curls are poppin’, you don’t want to take away from them. To fade it out or cut it would be to take away from the “natural” beauty of this look.
Key Tip: This look requires lots of hydration and moisture because the focus is all about the curl definition. It’s a wet & go for those with higher curl definition.
These twists are achieved by adding texture on texture with detail for Type 4 hair, creating a beautiful spiral and light spring array. This look is single twisted and then rodded, creating a dimension of definition and a swell. It’s perfect for the person who wants to play with the shaping, but doesn’t want to commit to the maintenance. You can place bobby pins on the side in different colors, to accessorize and sauce it up it in a cute unique way.
Key Tip: Make certain you have an edge control product that has staying power and isn’t too greasy.
Our Salon PK stylist Lauren @hautehairbylauren created these spirals on tiny rods to give the effect of natural curls because they’re so tight and small. They’re well defined and will last a long time. Bright colors like this blonde are celebratory of being natural – unapologetically.
Key Tip: Keep essential oils on the hair and use a satin bonnet at night to help the curls stay.
This is the style I came into this spring season with. It’s a distinctly, ambiguous hybrid of a press and curls. I love to create this style when I have a blowout that has ran its course. During this time the texture of the hair is coming back, but it’s not overly frizzy, so it can be utilized to resurrect a new look. You can allow the newly formed texture to serve as a pre-stretch for twists or bantu knots. Believe it or not, there’s new life at the end of a blowout.
Key Tip: After you’ve worn out your slay with your hair pressed, twist the hair that’s reverted to your natural curl pattern that night, and then take it out in the morning.
The Big Chop: What to Expect
by Christina Patrice
The second my stylist took a hack at my heat damage and I saw 4+ inches hit the floor, I panicked. I had second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth thoughts about what I was doing. I knew going in that when I emerged from the chair, my hair would be considerably shorter than it had ever been.
I was terribly self-conscious because I had only chopped all my hair off once, and it was straight, blonde, and fly. This, this chop thing was totally different. Even though I had 21 months of growth, my hair was extremely curly and shrunken thanks to the multiple textures of my mane. But nearly 3 months later, I look back and wonder why I was so worried. Big chopping, although nearly 2 years into my transition, was the best decision I had ever made for my hair. In the world of natural hair, there are two ways to go about taking your mane from a damaged, and sometimes unhealthy mess to a head full of gorgeous kinks, coils, curls, and waves. One method is transitioning for a given amount of time, and then chopping your ends whenever you feel comfortable. The other, more gutsy method is to big chop. Big chopping involves straight up cutting all your hair off and starting from scratch. It can be exhilarating, fun, edgy….and a total nightmare. In a culture where beautiful hair is the currency, it can be absolutely difficult to feel attractive after getting rid of something you’ve had your whole life — long hair. And even if prior to chopping your hair didn’t go past your chin, you still had more then than you have post chop. I won’t pretend to know the feeling of waking up the morning after BC-ing, and realizing that there is no more than an inch of hair atop my head. I transitioned for 21 months to avoid that very feeling. But because I chopped before my goal length, I know exactly what it feels like to have less hair than you’ve ever had, and to have to actively work at loving your hair and feeling beautiful.
Before you big chop:
These tips will be vital to big chopping with confidence, and being armed with information will help you navigate the first stage of your hair journey.
Most TWAers transition anywhere from 1 to 6 months to avoid a super low cut.
THE TWA STAGE
Understand how long you will be in the TWA stage. Depending on the texture, amount of shrinkage, and growth rate of your hair, the TWA stage will last anywhere from 1 to 4 years. Be prepared for that.
After you’ve made up your mind to chop, be sure to take the time and develop a regimen for yourself that works. Because a TWA (although thick) is not tons of hair to play with, selecting products that work well at keeping your hair moisturized, strong, and growing will be key. The TWA stage is the best time to experiment with products for moisturizing, nourishing, and styling the hair — because if you don’t like a product, doing a 2nd or 3rd wash day in a row won’t be a terrible nightmare. Enjoy that product experimentation now, because as your hair grows, detangling, washing, and styling will become more time consuming.
HIDE YOUR STASH
Alongside developing your regimen, be sure to trash or put away all the things that will have you second-guessing your decision. This is a piece of advice I offer to long-term transitioners as well. If after you chop, there is still a relaxer kit somewhere in your house, throw it out. Stash your flat iron somewhere you’ll forget about it, give it away, or put it in someone else’s care for the time being. The same goes for hair tools you won’t have any immediate need for, like scrunchies, updo clips, and even fine toothed combs. Do everything possible to prevent going back on or getting down on yourself about your decision, by removing those things from around you. Also, if you’ve decided to pursue an ingredient-conscious natural hair journey, be sure to chuck any products that contain ingredients you won’t be using–such as isopropyl alcohol, petroleum, or mineral oil.
Once you’ve got your regimen together and your no-no products and tools out of sight, you’re ready to have some fun with your TWA. The TWA presents a unique opportunity to be fashion forward, edgy, and daring with bold prints, bright colors, and eye-popping designs. Even if you aren’t a fashionista at heart, there are certain accessories and pieces you can use to amp up the flavor and feel gorgeous –like super cute earrings, a studded headband, or dazzling statement necklace. And don’t forget the makeup! You can also use your TWA time to experiment with colors and hair dye that will add richness and dimension to your cut — especially as it grows out.
Although the TWA is less hair, the moisture from it evaporates quickly. Daily refreshers with a light water-based hair moisturizer or spritz is ideal and will keep your hair hydrated between washes.
PROTECT YOUR TWA AT NIGHT
If you aren’t a big fan of satin bonnets or scarves, at least sleep on a satin pillowcase. No need in drying out the hair prematurely, and cultivating bad hair habits now!
CLARIFY, STRENGTHEN, AND DO DEEP TREATMENTS
Caring for your newly natural TWA will involve much more than cowashing and moisturizing. Make sure that at least monthly, you are using a clarifying treatment or shampoo to thoroughly cleanse your hair and scalp to remove buildup. Deep treatments will be useful in helping to nourish, moisturize, and strengthen your hair as it grows.
Be your own kind of beautiful!
This tip is above all, he most important. Define your beauty for yourself, be confident in who you are, and the decision you made. Hair grows, life goes on, and at the end of the day, you have to be comfortable in your own skin. Embrace your beauty, courage, and determination as a woman who has decided to embark on a personal and hair growth journey. You were beautiful before you cut your hair, you are beautiful with your TWA, and you will continue to be beautiful as your hair grows.