I was on twitter the other night when I was asked the following question:

Her: How do I successfully rod/curl my 4a natural hair? I’m thinking loose, big curls.

My response: Try a bantu knot out or flexi rods.

Her: Do you do your bantu knots wet or dry?

Me: Doing them wet will give you a better set that lasts longer.

Her: How do you avoid the frizz of a wet set?

Me: You can use a product that’s a little heavier than a gel, but some frizz eventually is unavoidable.

I then asked her what type of products she uses, but she hasn’t responded yet. Now, I know that when my hair was loose, my wet sets (mostly twist outs) responded well to gel in the summer time and something a little heavier in the winter. Like the Alma and Olive Heavy Cream from Qhemet Biologics. My hair loved that stuff. And it was perfect for the winter time because it really kept my hair feeling moist and not dry. I have the worst time with dry hair in the winter.

So I hope my answers helped her out and that she’s able to do a succesfull wet set without a lot frizz (although I think we should embrace the frizz!)


Taking a short break from the questions to show y’all my new favorite hair style. I’ve always been low maintenance whether I was relaxed, loose natural and loc’ed. I’m starting to get bored with my hair and have been considering taking my locs down, but, deep in my heart, I really don’t want to. So, I’ve decided to start experimenting with different styles.

Finding styles that work for me has always been a challenge for me. I am very tenderheaded (thanks Mom for all of the beads at the top of my braids when I was little). Up dos don’t work, I immediately want to take them down. The headaches associated with any type of up do, for me, are monumental. I even tried a bantu knot out, but the bantu knots gave me a horrible headache and the knot out was a disaster.

I like big curly hair, and I had heard tale of doing curls with pipe cleaners (I wasn’t about to shell out a bunch of cash for some flexi rods). I found the pipe cleaners at my local Michael’s and spent most of the day Tuesday, curling my hair.

Pipe cleaners still in

Pipe cleaners

I used Chescaleigh’s youtube video as a tutorial.

Here are my results! Day 1:

After: Day 1

I’m very happy with the results so far. I’m going to keep it like this for another day or so and then unwind the curls.

Dear jsquared,

I’ve been natural for about year. As my hair is growing out, I’m finding that if I don’t comb it regularly, it starts to lock up. I’m in the military, so I don’t have a lot of styling options. I usually just condition wash it, put some gel in and then pull it back into a puff. I wash with shampoo every other week. What can I do to keep my hair from locking up? I’m so frustrated with it!

Don’t Want Locks

Dear Don’t Want Locks,

To me, this seems like a pretty easy fix. Detangle your hair more often. Every time you wet your hair, run your fingers through it to detangle. If you have enough time, go through it with a wide tooth comb. All of that combing can be a little rough on your hair, so I would encourage you to try some protective styles that can be worn for at least a week. The less manipulation, the better. Cornrows, flat twists, two strand twists or even braids are all good choices and the style possibilities are endless. And, trust me, your hair isn’t really locking up. It’ll take way more than just a few days for your hair to completely lock. Just keep detangling (gently!) and wear protective styles.

Dear jsquared,

I’ll start off by saying I have a frat brother, a frat brother with benefits to be exact, but more friends than benefits. We’re extremely good friends but he’s the type of person who never text, calls, or messages someone first. Every once in a while I get tired of this and stop contacting hoping maybe he’ll pick up the hint. Although…he says when I don’t contact him he worries a lot about me (but never enough to pick up the phone and call to see what’s going on).

Okay so enter frat brother #2 who is looking for a friend with benefits and we really seem to be on the same page about everything. I’m hesitant because both the guys are pretty close friends….but their also quite hush hush about what goes on in their bedroom. One the other hand I almost don’t care because frat brother #1 is definitely a man whore and has had sex with probably most of my chapter sorors….in addition to the whole east coast, lol.

My question is, Should I try the friends with benefits thing out with frat brother number 2 and am I right in thinking if frat brother #1 found out he has no reason to be mad because he can’t pick up the phone and has already had sex with too many people to count in my circle of friends?

99 Problems


Dear 99 Problems,

Well, it looks to me as though the answer is clear. I’m not even gonna get into why you would only want a “friends with benefits” situation because you’ve already made up your mind on that end. Plus, that wasn’t a part of your question! No judgement here. First things first, frat boy #1 is not going to get the hint about you wanting him to contact you first. You have to tell him that’s what you want. However, I would just leave him alone. He doesn’t think enough of you to call or text in the first place, so why should you bother with him. That whole “I worry about you when you don’t call” thing seems like an act to me. If he’s so worried, then why doesn’t he call? Or text? No one’s that busy.

Now for frat boy #2. Do what you want. If you both think that the “friends with benefits” thing is beneficial, go for it. I wouldn’t even worry about what frat boy #1 is gonna think. Like you said, he’d probably never even find out about it. Do you. You can’t live your life worrying about what other people are thinking about you.

Dear jsquared,

This has been a touchy subject for me. 2 years ago, I started hanging out with a guy, just as friends. He was really cool and hanging out every once in a while turned into every day. All along, I knew he had a girlfriend, but she was in FL and we are in VA. But, their relationship isn’t like ours. We have a special connection! He’s also about 10 years older than me, with 5 kids. Did I mention he doesn’t have a job? Well, he does have a job, it’s just not legal. He lived with me for a year and a half with trips every month or so to visit the girlfriend in FL. I didn’t realize I was catching feelings until he decided that he was gonna move to FL to be with her. He thought there would be more job opportunities there, plus he wanted to give their relationship a try. He’s moved down there, but he’s calling me all the time and still coming up to see me. I’m torn! What do I do?

Caught up

Hi Caught up,

Um, wow. Yeah, this is a doozy with a simple answer. Leave the loser alone! Seriously, what does this dude have to offer you? He doesn’t have a job, he has 5 kids AND he has another girlfriend in FL that you know about. Um, yeah. You know what you need to do, and I know it’s hard when it’s someone that you think you love, but dude has already made his choice. He left you after living with you for a year and a half! HE LEFT YOU! Leave him alone. You’re worth way more than some dude that thinks he can have his cake and eat it, too. You need to care about yourself more than you care about him.

Readers, do you have any more advice for Caught Up?

I’ve been getting some great questions in my email! New post coming later today about a relationship issue. Check back later. And keep sending in the great questions! askjsquared@gmail.com. Remember all questions are posted confidentially.

Ok Jsquared, I really like your response to this post. My question is a bit tricky. I was natural for 11 years and ended up doing a kiddie relaxer when I had a baby. I had no one to help me maintain my hair after it was relaxed. I felt completely horrible for the decision I made by switching back to the relaxer. Now I just chopped it off, but it still has some relaxer left. what is your advice for someone who has fine hair that only relaxed every 6-8 months? How much new growth should I have to either loc or twist? I am so confused and disappointed and want something that will make me forget about what I had done!! Help!!!

Naturally Confused

Hi Naturally Confused,

First congrats on realizing your mistake! Don’t feel bad, I was natural for 2 years and then relaxed it and ended up cutting it right back off 3 months later. Now that you’re back to natural, what are you intentions? My advice is to let your hair do what it does. Meaning, leave it alone. Wash, condition, moisturize and let it be. But, if you’re interested in locing your hair, you really only need about an inch of hair. You can get comb coils like these:

Comb coils

But, you will need to have all the relaxed ends removed. If not, they will stick out all over the place. If you hair is longer, you have more options. You can start locs with two strand twists or individual braids as well. Like these:

Two Strand Twists

Both of these options can be used to start locs, worn as styles or used as a set to add curls or waves. I hope this info helps! If you have more questions, I’ll be happy to answer them.

Solange Knowles after her BC

Dear jsquared,

I’m so excited to finally have the courage to cut off the rest of my relaxed hair and I love it! But, I just don’t don’t how to maintain the curl with out co-washing.
How can I make my little curl last more than a day? When I go to sleep it’s all flat in the morning. Should I still use my silk scarf when I sleep?
Thanks for your advice.

Newly natural and loving it

Dear newly natural and loving it,

First off, congrats on the big chop! It’s always an adjustment getting used to your natural hair texture, plus the fact that all of your hair is gone! But, it’s so easy to take of at this stage. Remember, less is more. Conditioner washing your hair every day is great. I would recommend using a clarifying shampoo at least once a week, though, to get rid of build up. Conditioners can coat the hair shaft and make your hair dull and lifeless. Now that the cold air is starting to finally come in, you don’t have to (and definitely want to) co-wash your hair every day. When you wake up in the morning, simply wet your hands and run them through your hair and fluff. This should help bring your curls back to life without having to go outside with a wet head. As far as sleeping with a scarf on, I would buy satin pillow cases instead. The scarf will flatten your hair, too. Hope this helps!

Welcome to the world of jsquared. You have questions, I have answers. Why not get an unbiased opinion? If you have a question about relationships, natural hair, fashion, careers, college, anything, just ask and I will do my best to answer. Straight forward. No BS! Gotta love it!

If you have a question, email askjsquared@gmail.com. All questions will be answered here, on the blog, and will be posted anonymously.