For my first 4-5 years natural, pre-locs, I wore an afro puff a lot. It was probably my most common style. Back then, I blew my hair out with Wild Growth Oil, into a super soft and round cloud, held in place with suede lace. I used a blow dryer with comb attachment, on the hottest setting. I'm ashamed to admit I "slicked" my front edges down with Pink Oil Moisturizer gel (oh my!), and tied it down with a scarf to make it lay down.
These days, I have a more natural and gentler approach to the puff. My first puff since I cut my locs was the result of a twist out from very big twists. My twists were about 3/4" thick, which created a nice chunky fro.
The cut-off leg of a pair of black pantyhose gives the illusion of a nice satiny headband. I tied it in a knot in the back and tucked the ends under.
Throughout the week, my hair shrunk more and more, and eventually needed to be stretched again. This time, I used the banding method. I sprayed my hair with water and essential oils, and followed up with a vegetable glycerin massage. I am liking the effects of the vegetable glycerin on my hair. It isn't quite sticky, though it is a little tacky. After a few hours the tackiness subsides and leaves my hair soft.
I also use it as a skin moisturizer. Pure vegetable glycerin can also be used in food as a sweetener because it tastes like sugar. I'll let you use your imagination with that one. ;-)
Then, I used a rattail comb to part my hair in sections, and the KakaKiki Kombrush to brush through each. This brush works surprisingly well, and can brush smoothly through my hair with a bit of effort which is quite a feat. Combs with missing teeth are not hard to find around here and I haven't broken this one yet.
When detangling, combing or brushing through natural hair, always start from the ends and gradually move toward the roots. Grasp the section you are working with in your closed fist (or fingers, for shorter hair) to minimize the stress on your scalp.
I used my scunci No Damage Poly Bands to hold the sections, evenly spacing them along the length of my hair a la the Booya Tribe (remember them?). This technique is known as "banding."
Notice I'm dressed. Yes, I did go out like this. The next day when I removed the bands, booya(I had to say that)! I had a puff with no heat and no Pink Oil Moisturizer gel. The key to removing the poly bands without damage is to take your time - be patient! If you rip them out, they will rip your hair out just like a regular rubber band. Don't ask me how I know. I must admit I didn't put much effort into creating a smooth hairline.
For this puff, I cut a length about two inches long from a pair of pantyhose, and used the ring as a headband.